Vladimir Putin blames downing of Russian plane in Syria on 'chance events'

Vladimir Putin blames downing of Russian plane in Syria on 'chance events'

Vladimir Putin blames downing of Russian plane in Syria on 'chance events'

It accused Israel on Tuesday of putting the plane in danger of being caught in the crossfire of Israeli airstrikes and Syrian anti-aircraft systems, and the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Israel's ambassador in Moscow.

While trust between the Russian and Israeli military will suffer as a result, the two countries "have a lot of common interests, especially in Syria", said Andrei Kortunov, head of the Russian International Affairs Council, a research group set up by the Kremlin.

The Russian military initially blamed Israel for the incident, claiming Israeli F-16 fighter jets used the IL-20 for cover.

Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were scheduled to speak by phone later yesterday, Israel's Channel 10 television reported.

Russia blames Israeli warplanes for "creating a unsafe situation" that led to the shooting down of a Russian military plane by Syrian air defense systems, saying it reserves the right to give a due response to the hostile action. However, it could not confirm their identity and Syria has made no official comment.

"The Ilyushin-20, its reflective surface being far greater than that of the F-16, was downed by a missile launched with the S-200 system", Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, referring to the Soviet-era air defense system.

In an official statement, Pompeo expressed sorrow "for the death of the aircrew members of the Russian plane that was downed by Syrian regime anti-aircraft fire".

"We reserve the right for adequate response", the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Konashenkov said Russian Federation reserves the right to take appropriate "retaliatory measures", but he provided no specifics.

Syria and Russian Federation now blame the strikes on Monday on Israel, which rarely takes responsibility for airstrikes in the country.

The defence ministry said body fragments, personal belongings and the plane's debris had been found by search ships in the Mediterranean on Tuesday.

Russian Federation said Israel did not warn it of its operation in the area until one minute before the strike.

Another state-run TV channel blamed Israel for the attack, according to the Associated Press.

The Russian military has pinpointed the location where the Il-20 aircraft fell into the Mediterranean, the Russian defense ministry said, according to TASS, and recovery operations were underway.

The Russian military said Tuesday that the Russian maritime patrol aircraft was shot by by Syrian regime anti-aircraft artillery amid the Israeli attack on Monday, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.

The UN had warned that a fully-fledged ground assault aimed at completing Damascus's military reconquest could spark the worst humanitarian catastrophe yet in a conflict that has killed more 360,000. But Moscow says they were informed of the Israeli raid with only one minute's notice.

Since intervening in Syria, Russia has turned a blind eye to these attacks.

The statement also laid blame on Iran and Hezbollah. In some cases, those countries are backing opposing sides in the Syrian war.

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