Russia blames Israel after military plane shot down off Syria

Russia has said Syria shot down one its military planes – but laid the blame for the deaths of the 15 personnel on board with israel.

The defence ministry said Israeli jets forced the Il-20 plane into the path of Syrian air defence systems on Monday after failing to give Moscow enough warning of a strike on Syrian targets.

The Il-20 disappeared off the radar at about 23:00 local time (20:00 GMT).

israel is yet to comment on the allegations.

Israel rarely acknowledges carrying out strikes on Syria, but an Israeli military official recently said it had hit more than 200 Iranian targets in Syria over the past 18 months.

The Israeli government is concerned by what it calls Iran’s “military entrenchment” in Syria, as well as shipments of Iranian weapons to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside Syrian government forces.

The incident on Monday reportedly occurred about 35km (22 miles) from the Syrian coast as the Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft was returning to Russia’s Hmeimim airbase near the north-western city of Latakia.

According to Russia’s Tass news agency, the Il-20 plane “disappeared during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets on Syrian facilities in Latakia province”.

On Tuesday, the Russian defence ministry said the aircraft was shot down by Syria.

But it said Israel’s “irresponsible actions” were to blame, saying it was given just a minute’s warning ahead of the strikes, which was not enough time to get the military…

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