Netanyahu to Putin: 'Syria responsible for shooting down Russian plane'

After Russian Military Aircraft Shot Down Near Syria, Russian Claims Israel 'Deliberately Staged This Provocation'

Il-20 aircraft crash: Putin defuses crisis situation after Russian Defense Ministry blames Syria

Hezbollah has thousands of fighters in Syria supporting President Bashar Assad's forces in the civil war.

Russian and foreign media reported earlier that an Israeli Defense Force delegation led by the commander of the Israeli Air Force would visit Moscow Thursday to provide an explanation. A French Frigate, as well as a Russian IL-20 plane, was operating in the region. "As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian service personnel perished".

The attack on Latakia, a government stronghold and the site of Russia's major military base in the country, represented a unsafe escalation of the war in Syria, which the Israelis nearly certainly carried out in consultation with Washington.

Israel has long accused Iran of using Syria as a conduit to funnel weapons to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group and political faction with whom Israel went to war in 2006. Therefore, in Moscow, they found out nearly immediately that the IL-20 was shot down by the "friendly fire" of the Syrian allies, and not by the Americans, the French, the IDF, or somebody else. Some 1,665 Hezbollah fighters have been killed there, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Russian military said on Tuesday that the plane was hit by accident by one of the missiles, which were aimed at four Israeli fighter jets that were attacking targets in the coastal province of Latakia late on Monday.

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The same evening Syrian air defences downed a Russian military plane by mistake, killing all 15 on board.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the Yom Kippur fast expressing condolences for the death of the Russian airmen but put the blame on Syria.

"A lot of Israeli attacks on Syria have nothing to do with arms transfers to Hizbullah and Israel is seeking to prevent Syria from obtaining missile capabilities", Nasrallah added.

While the Russian leader took a cautious stance on the incident, he warned that Russia will respond by "taking additional steps to protect our servicemen and assets in Syria". They started their target run at a low altitude from the Mediterranean Sea. The Russians claim that the Israeli Air Force used the Il-20 as cover under the assumption that the Syrians would not endanger a Russian aircraft.

Turkey will send more troops into Syria's Idlib province after striking a deal with Russian Federation that has averted a government offensive and delighted rebels who said it kept the area out of President Bashar al-Assad's hands. The zone will have troops from Russian Federation and NATO-member Turkey conducting coordinated patrols to monitor the demilitarization and restore traffic to the highway linking major Syrian cities that passes through Idlib.

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