Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Russian Federation blames Israel after its jet is downed off Syria

Russian Federation blames Israel after its jet is downed off Syria Russian Federation blames Israel after its jet is downed off Syria
Steven Clarke | 22 September, 2018, 21:34

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media during a joint news conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Sept. 18, 2018.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered to share data with Russian Federation on what was happening in the sky over Syria that day and dispatched his air force chief to Moscow.

Israel dispatched its air force chief to brief Moscow about the incident on Thursday.

Defying criticisms of Tel Aviv's unlawful military actions against Syrian soil, the Israeli minister for military affairs, Avidgor Lieberman, said Thursday that the regime will not stop such attacks, but would do more to "de-conflict" them with Russian forces.

Russian Federation has acknowledged that antiaircraft forces of its ally Syria inadvertently brought down the Il-20 plane, but it also blamed Israel for conducting a fighter jet raid on Syrian forces around the same time. The IAF stated that Assad's Syrian military regime is fully responsible for the downing of the Russian plane on Tuesday.

Russia would investigate the incident, Putin said, and boost security for Russian troops in Syria.

Israel established a de-confliction agreement with Russian Federation several years ago to enable Israel to hit Iranian targets inside Syria without colliding with Russian Federation.

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Speaking alongside Erdogan, Putin said the 15-20km-wide zone would be established by October 15.

Nasrallah says Israel knows the regional balance of power has changed, and that recent Israeli strikes in Syria to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring those weapons failed because this "has already been achieved". Gen. Ronen Manelis issued a statement expressing Israel's "sorrow for the death of the aircrew members of the Russian plane that was downed tonight due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire". That Israel carried out such an attack at all was clearly provocative.

Since the beginning of September, dozens of people have been killed and wounded in air raids and attacks by the Syrian government and allied Russian fighter jets, according to activists on the ground.

Putin said earlier that the shooting down was the result of a chain of tragic and chance circumstances and appeared to somewhat defuse the situation though he said Russian Federation needed to look further into what happened.

The leader of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah, a key Damascus ally, said on Wednesday his group would keep its military presence in Syria until further notice, commending a Russian-Turkish deal over Idlib as a step towards a broader political solution, Reuters reports.

"No one can force us to withdraw from Syria and as long as the Syrian leadership needs us we will stay there", he said.

The Russian defence ministry earlier Tuesday blamed Israel for the accident and warned of reprisals.

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