(September 18, 2018 / JNS) Russia is blaming Israel after Syria, its ally, shot down a Russian plane on Monday, killing 15 Russian troops.
Footage of the event shows bombs exploding while air-defense rockets launch upwards. No video from the event has demonstrated a successful interception.
The Israeli Air Force confirmed the attack via Twitter on Tuesday, expressing sympathy for the Russian losses but blamed Syria’s air defenses, which it accused of firing haphazardly.
“Israel holds the Assad regime, whose military shot down the Russian plane, fully responsible for this incident,” the IDF said in a statement. “Israel also holds Iran and the Hezbollah terror organization accountable for this unfortunate incident.”
“The IDF and the Russian army have a deconfliction system, which was agreed upon by the states’ leaders, and has proven itself many times over recent years,” added the IDF. “This system was in use tonight as well.”
According to Russian media, four Israeli F-16s conducted the attack in which Israel delivered just a one-minute warning to Russia, which operates large military bases in Syria.
“The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air-defense forces,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, according to Russian media. “As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile.”
“As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian service personnel perished,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian state media. “This absolutely does not correspond to the spirit of Russian-Israeli partnership.”