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Russia blames Israel for its Il-20 aircraft crash

ANI | Updated: Sep 18, 2018 15:57 IST

Moscow [Russia], Sep 18 (ANI): Russia on Tuesday held Israel "fully responsible" for the shooting down of an Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft, killing 14 Russian servicemen on board, in Syria on Monday.
Russia's Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu, who earlier in the day held discussions with his Israeli counterpart, said Israel is "fully responsible" for the aircraft crash, reported Sputnik.
The Russian aircraft disappeared from radar near Syria's Hmeymim airbase on Tuesday, Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed. It was found 27 kilometres west of the Lakatia province. The disappearance of the aircraft coincided with an aerial attack by Israeli and French forces in Latakia province.
"On September 17, at about 11 p.m. Moscow time, the communication with the crew of the Russian Il-20 aircraft was lost when it was over the Mediterranean Sea, 35 kilometres from the Syrian coast, on its way back to Hmeymim airbase," a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry read.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said, "We see these provocative actions of Israel as hostile," adding that the accident happened because of the "irresponsible actions" of the Israeli forces. He further stated that Russia would sanction an "adequate response" for the attack.
The Russian Defence Ministry stated that Israel informed them about their attack a minute before it happened.
While Israel has not issued a statement on the incident, the spokesman for French military Colonel Patrik Steiger denied any involvement.
The United States has concluded that the aircraft was caught in friendly fire from a Syrian anti-aircraft artillery unit and was downed, Sputnik quoted a US official as saying.
Russian radars, however, detected missiles launched from a French frigate - Auvergne in the vicinity. (ANI)