Photo from Ukrinform–UATV
Syrian anti-aircraft fire downed a Russian military plane after an Israeli attack on Syrian positions, killing 15 people on board, Moscow said, CNN reports.
Though the plane was brought down by Syrian troops, Moscow accuses Israel of hostile provocation.
Russian state media said Syrian missiles shot the Il-20 aircraft down amid an attack by Israeli jets in the Latakia region of northwest Syria.
Moscow blamed Israel for putting its aircraft in the line of fire and said it had only a minute’s notice of the strike.
“As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian servicemen were killed, which is absolutely not in keeping with the spirit of Russian-Israeli partnership,” said Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesperson for the Russian military, according to RIA-Novosti.
Israel on the other hand has officially declared that the entire responsibility for bringing down the aircraft lies on Bashar al-Assad’s forces, who conducted “extensive and innacurate anti-aircraft fire,” the Israeli Defense Forces reported on its official Twitter account.
Previously, Russian law enforcement officers put forward another version. They claimed that the reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by a French frigate, but French Colonel Patrik Steiger denied any involvement.