Russian Federation blames Israel after plane shot down in Syria

Russian Federation blames Israel after plane shot down in Syria

Netanyahu offered to send Israel Air Force Commander Major-General Amiram Norkin to Moscow to personally present the findings of Israel's investigation into the incident; a proposal that was accepted by Moscow and immediately put into action.

It will also provide information on "Iranian attempts to transfer strategic weapons to the Hezbollah terror organisation and to establish an Iranian military presence in Syria", the statement said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a telephone conversation with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday, stating that Israel is exclusively to blame for the downing of Russia's Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that "tragic accidental circumstances" led to the downing by Syria of a Russian warplane with 15 people on board.

"By hiding behind the Russian plane, Israeli pilots put it in the line of fire", read a ministry statement.

Shoigu also vowed to respond against actions on behalf of the Israeli Air Force. The Russian defense ministry initially blamed Israel, saying the IAF jets used the Russian plane as cover.

"We will remain there even after the Idlib accord", Nasrallah said, referring to a Russia-Turkey deal to prevent a Syrian regime offensive on the country's last rebel-held stronghold.

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However, he insisted the Russian plane had been felled by "extensive and inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft (fire)".

Moscow would beef up security for Russian military personnel in Syria as a priority response, Putin said.

The Russian plane was downed by a Russian-made S-200 air defence supplied to Syria. These weapons were meant to attack Israel, and posed an intolerable threat against it.

In the early hours of Tuesday, Israeli F-16s entered Syrian airspace with a view to striking Syrian military targets in the northwestern Latakia province.

The Israeli air force chief is traveling to Moscow on September 20 for discussions after a Russian military surveillance plane was shot down over Syria's coast, killing 15 Russian servicemembers.

Though Israeli officials have said, generally, that the military conducts operations inside Syria against Iranian and Hezbollah targets, the IDF rarely acknowledges specific airstrikes, preferring instead to adopt a formal policy of neither confirming nor denying the attacks attributed to it.

In a Wednesday analysis piece in Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Israeli military analyst Ron Ben Yishai said that Israel would - in response to the incident - try to persuade Russian Federation not to give Syria its advanced S-300 air-defense system.

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