The Russian military accused their Israeli counterparts for causing the shot-down of a Russian Il-20 plane by the Syrian air defense forces, which were responding to an Israeli air raid on Latakia.
The Israeli Air Force launched their surprise night attack on Latakia in a way that put the Russian plane in harm’s way, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement. They must have known they were setting up the Russian plane to be hit by a Syrian counter-attack, but neither changed their approach to targets in Syria nor gave Russia enough time to move the Il-20 to a safe area.
“We consider these provocative actions by Israel as hostile. Fifteen Russian military service members have died because of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military. This is absolutely contrary to the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership,” the statement stressed. “We reserve the right for an adequate response.”
The Russian military says an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its Il-20 plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile. Moscow reserves the right to respond accordingly.
On Monday evening, four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria’s Latakia after approaching from the Mediterranean, a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. The Israeli warplanes approached at a low altitude and “created a dangerous situation for other aircraft and vessels in the region,” it said.