Israel to blame for downed plane: Russian Federation

Moscow summons envoy says Israel ‘fully to blame’ for downing of Russian plane

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli Ambassador Gary Koren over the incident, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, that Israel was responsible.

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has invested a lot in the relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to maintain freedom of operation against Iran in Syria.

Israel's military, which was contacted before Russian Federation alleged the country was to blame, has declined to comment.

Iran, the third member of the so-called Astana process aimed at ending the seven-year civil war in Syria, praised the deal as an example of "responsible diplomacy".

Despite the presence of the hotline, created to prevent accidental exchanges of fire between forces allied with opposing sides in the Syrian conflict, diplomats and military experts have warned that the risk of inadvertent strikes is high. He added that the Israeli Air Force chief was ready to go to Moscow personally to further collaborate in relation to the incident.

The conversation came on Tuesday evening just before Israel began observing Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.

Both the Russians and Israelis agree it was Syrian anti-aircraft fire, although Syria has not commented.

Secondly, Russia charges - more seriously - that the Israelis used the large radar signature of the Ilyushin turbo-prop to mask their own aircraft.

"An Israeli jet did not shoot down our plane", Putin said.

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Instead, the Russians choose to instigate a political crisis with Israel.

"The Israeli side didn't issue a notification or, to be more precise, they warned us a minute before conducting the strike", he said.

The demilitarised zone will be secured with the help of "mobile patrol groups of Turkish contingents and contingents of Russian military police", Putin said.

Mr Putin said "radical militants" such as the Al Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham would have to withdraw from the zone.

The incident, which happened late Monday, was the worst case of friendly fire between the two allies since Russia's game-changing military intervention in September 2015. "As a result, the Il-20. was shot down by the (Syrian) S-200 missile system", Mr. Konashenkov said.

A witness in Latakia said he spotted four missiles downed by Syrian air defences. This absolutely does not correspond to the spirit of Russian-Israeli partnership.

Israel Defence Forces expressed sorrow at the deaths of the Russian air crew, but placed the blame squarely on the Syrian anti-aircraft missile batteries that struck the Russian plane.

The military said the plane disappeared as four Israeli fighter jets were attacking targets in the area.

Alleged Israeli strikes in Syria previously have given Russian defense-populated sites a wide berth, but strikes on the Damascus International Airport on Sunday and the air battle on Monday have played out near to Russian forces. The Russian Il-20 was shot down in the air battle, along with its crew.

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