A Russian military spy plane carrying 15 over the Mediterranean Sea was downed Monday by an anti-aircraft missile from Syrian forces, prompting finger pointing by Moscow over what is called an “intentional provocation” by Israel, FOX NEWS reports.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that the Il-20 “coot” jet was hit 22 miles off the coast as it was returning to the Russian base near the Syrian city of Lattakia.
“The Israeli pilots were using the Russian aircraft as a shield and pushed it into the line of fire of the Syrian defense. We view the actions of the Israeli military as hostile. As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian service personnel perished” Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov
Russian MoD released graphic showing how the Il-20 was shot down.Israeli AF F-16s masked themselves behind a Russian Il-20 during their airstrike against Syrian industrial facilities in
#Tartus & #Latakia. Israel also used French Navy’s frigate Auvergne in area as cover.
Russian MoD released graphic showing how the Il-20 was shot down.Israeli AF F-16s masked themselves behind a Russian Il-20 during their airstrike against Syrian industrial facilities in #Tartus & #Latakia. Israel also used French Navy’s frigate Auvergne in area as cover. pic.twitter.com/pf74JnL1ab
— Military Advisor (@miladvisor) September 18, 2018
The Russian ministry said the Israelis must have known that the Russian plane was present in the area, but this did not stop them from executing “the provocation.” Israel also failed to warn Russia about the planned operation in advance. The warning came just a minute before the attack started, which “did not leave time to move the Russian plane to a safe area,”the statement said.
Israel expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members of the Russian plane that was downed tonight due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire.
Israel holds the Assad regime, whose military shot down the Russian plane, fully responsible for this incident.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) September 18, 2018
The Russian Il-20 aircraft with 15 crew on board, went off the radar during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria’s Latakia province late Monday. Later on Tuesday the Russian Defense Ministry said that an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile.
Israel’s ambassador in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry over the incident, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
Moscow said its plane disappeared from radar screens as it was coming in to land at the Hmeymim air base in western Syria late on Monday, just as Israeli jets and French naval vessels were mounting air strikes on targets in the same area of Syria.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.