Russian plane deaths in Syria: What will be the fallout?

The downing of a Russian military plane by Syrian forces after an Israeli air raid has raised tensions between the nations involved. But will it have any long-term consequences?

In many ways it is surprising that this is the first major incident to involve the accidental shooting down of an aircraft, given the intensity of the long-running and multiple air campaigns under way over Syria.

Russia and its Syrian allies are attacking rebel positions from the air. The US and its allies have been striking Islamic State group targets although, with a brief up-tick over recent days, this campaign is winding down.

Israel is conducting an entirely separate air campaign both to contain Iran’s military presence in Syria and, especially, to prevent the manufacture and transfer of advanced missiles to Iran’s regional ally, Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon.

Russia has powerful radars and modern surface-to-air missiles at its base in Syria, but it chooses to watch the Israeli operations unfold and do nothing.

Image caption Israel sees an increasing threat from Iran and its allied militia


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