Israel Responsible for Downed Russian Reconnaissance Plane in Syria
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
According to Russia's Defense Ministry, four Israeli F-16 warplanes attacked sites in Syria's Latakia province, "creating a dangerous situation for other aircraft and vessels in the region."
Responding to Israel's latest aggression, a Syrian S-200 air defense system surface-to-air missile accidentally downed a Russian IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft in Latakia airspace.
Russia's Defense Ministry said "Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover, and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces," adding:
"As a consequence, the IL-20 (with 15 crew members on board), which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile" - Russia calling the incident an unacceptable "provocation," adding:
Israel conducted its attack, knowing a Russian aircraft was in harm's way, failing to notify Russia's Defense Ministry in time to assure the safety of its aircraft and crew, mincing no words telling the Netanyahu regime:
"You are to blame for downing the IL-20" aircraft and "death of (its) crew" members - a war crime by any standard, a US, NATO, Turkish, Saudi, UAE, and Israeli specialty.
A Russian official said radar contact with the plane was lost over the Mediterranean Sea 35 km from Syria's coast when it was returning to Khmeimim airbase.
Russia's Defense Ministry explained that "(a)t the same time, Russian radar (spotted) missile launches from the French frigate Auvergne in the area," blaming Israel for the incident, adding:
"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 (sic). We reserve the right for an adequate response."
The Netanyahu regime is no ally of nations supporting Syrian sovereign independence, territorial integrity, and regional peace - notions it abhors along with Washington, NATO, Turkey, the Saudis and their imperial partners.
A Russian search and rescue operation began to try locating the downed aircraft, along with bodies of the killed crew members.
Separately, SouthFront and AMN News reported overnight airstrikes on Syrian targets in Latakia, Tartus and Homs provinces - likely carried out by Israeli warplanes, escalating aggression in Syria more than already.
Russian air defense systems downed a number of incoming (Israeli) missiles.
Both news services said Russia's Defense Ministry hasn't commented on the likely Israeli attacks on Syrian targets in three provinces.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said Syrian air defense systems "intercepted hostile missiles coming from the sea into Lattakia city and confronted a number of them before reaching their targets," citing a military source, adding:
Earlier, (a) SANA reporter said that an aggression on Latakia has targeted the Technical Industries' establishment, adding that the air defenses intercepted and downed a number of the missiles."
US, NATO, Israeli, and Turkish aggression in Syria shows resolving years of Obama-initiated war in the country for regime change continues with no prospect for resolution any time soon - greater escalation than already likely coming.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."