Russia promises RETALIATION on Israel for ‘shot down’ plane in Syria -Middle East on BRINK

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
By Paul Martin

RUSSIA has promised retaliation after Israeli airstrikes created a “dangerous situation” by performing unannounced attacks in Syria, resulting in a Soviet reconnaissance plane being accidentally shot down by Syrian Air Defence systems, the Kremlin has announced.

Tue, Sep 18, 2018

he aircraft, which was used for electronic surveillance, disappeared from radar screens over Syria at about 8PM BST (11pm local time) on Monday.

It happened around the same time Israeli and French forces were launching targeted strikes in Syria.

According to the Russian defence ministry, 15 people were on board the I1-29 turbo prop plane at the time of its disappearance.

But on Tuesday morning, following the French military denying involvement in the plane’s disappearance, RIA news agency reported the Kremlin has accused Israeli aircraft of deliberately creating a “dangerous” situation.

Russia said Israel was to blame by allowing its pilots to force the Russian craft into the path of Syrian missile systems, where the craft was shot down accidentally.

RIA reports the Russian ministry accused Israeli pilots of putting the Russian aircraft in the path of Syrian missiles.

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 – not enough time for the Russian plane to get to safety.

The fate of the 15 missing persons on board is not known, but Russia said Israel was responsible for the death of the plane’s crew due to its “irresponsible actions” with the Kremlin threatening retaliatory steps in response.

According to Interfax news agency, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian service personnel perished. This absolutely does not correspond to the spirit of Russian-Israeli partnership.

“We reserve the right to take commensurate measures in response.”

A US official said that Washington believed the aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery, operated by the Syrian government.

The plane was over the Mediterranean Sea about 35 km (20 miles) from the Syrian coastline, Russia’s TASS news agency quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.

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