Russia on Tuesday accused Israel of indirectly causing a Russian military plane to be shot down in Syria and threatened to retaliate against Israel for what it described as a hostile act.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said the IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft with 15 Russian service personnel on board was brought down by anti-aircraft batteries of Moscow’s ally, Syria, in a friendly fire incident.
The IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft with 15 Russian service personnel on board was brought down by anti-aircraft batteries of Moscow’s ally, Syria, in a friendly fire incident
But the ministry said it held Israel responsible because at the time of the incident, Israeli fighter jets were mounting air attacks on Syria targets and had only given Moscow one minute’s warning, putting the Russian aircraft in danger of being caught in the cross-fire.
“We view the actions of the Israeli military as hostile,” Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian state television. “As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian service personnel perished.”
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday afternoon that it had summoned Israel’s ambassador in Moscow.
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.