Tel Aviv has ordered the commander of the Israeli Air Force to continue talks with his Russian counterparts about the destruction of the Russian Il-20 recon aircraft over Syria. Israel’s Defense Ministry maintains that Syria is responsible for the destruction of the plane, which took place during an Israeli air raid on Syrian targets in Latakia.
In an interview with Haaretz take shortly before the destruction of the Russian Il-20 but published Friday, Israeli Air Force Intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Uri Oron bragged that while the Russian presence in Syria was a “challenge” for the IAF, it didn’t constrain its activities.
“Does the Russian presence constrain the IAF’s activity? It challenges us. We have to be very precise. [But] that doesn’t mean that the IAF only flies in Israeli skies,” Oron said.
“The Russians’ arrival in Syria was one of the strongest things to shape reality in the area in recent years,” Oron noted, saying that before the Russian intervention, “everyone was sure that ISIS* was about to roll over Damascus.”
Oron expressed confidence in his agency’s ability to obtain and transmit accurate intelligence to the IAF to allow it to “cause accurate damage without major collateral damage,” with the present focus being the alleged Iranian presence in Syria.
Just before the Russian military was introduced into Syria to fight Daesh and other extremists in late September 2015, Moscow…