Putin warns Israel over Russian plane downing


Moscow blamed Tel Aviv for the incident, saying its military planes deliberately "created a risky situation" that led to the crash.

"The Israeli pilots were using the Russian aircraft as a shield and pushed it into the line of fire of the Syrian defense", Igor Konashenkov, the Russian defense ministry spokesperson, said on Tuesday.

Russian Federation backs Syria's government militarily and it was the worst case of friendly fire between the two allies since Moscow intervened in the conflict in 2015. The Kremlin added, "The president of Russian Federation urged the Israeli side not to allow such situations from now on". A French Frigate, as well as a Russian IL-20 plane, was operating in the region. It said the regime army fired the missiles that hit the Russian plane when the Israeli jets had already returned to Israeli airspace.

On Wednesday, Israeli satellite imaging company ImageSat released three photos of an "ammunition warehouse" in Latakia, showing it before and after the Monday night attack.

Tel Aviv claimed that its strike was motivated by intelligence that weapons located there were being transferred from Iran to the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah. In its statement, it stated that the Syrian anti-aircraft fire caused the Russian plane to be hit and downed.

But Russia blamed Israel for the crash, saying it was caught in the crossfire as Israeli fighter jets attacked Iranian targets near Latakia, Syria, and threatened a response. "Our attitude towards this tragedy is set forth in a statement by our Defense Ministry, and has been fully coordinated with me".

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But President Vladimir Putin, who spoke to his Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone on Tuesday, then called it "a chain of tragic chance events" although he added that Russian Federation needed to "seriously get to the bottom of what happened".

Russia, after all, has negotiated with Israel repeatedly on the attacks of Syria, and while all the specifics aren't public, one of the recurring messages from Russia was to stay away from the Tartus naval base. They started their target run at a low altitude from the Mediterranean Sea.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement expressing sorrow for the incident, which killed 15 Russian servicemen.

The agreement derails the Syrian government's plans to launch an assault on Idlib; in recent weeks, government troops and their allies have positioned themselves around the rebel-held province, according to state media, with officials insisting an operation was imminent. "It's clear for all specialists that under cover of our Il-20 aircraft, a blow was struck, supposing that Syrian air defense systems wouldn't act in that direction", Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

The Syrian blunder came hot on the heels of a major deal announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan after talks in Sochi.