Russia blames Israel for downed plane in Syria
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 9/18/18, 11:39 am
The Russian Defense Ministry said a Syrian missile shot down a Russian military aircraft with 15 people on board late Monday. Russia blamed Israel for the “intentional provocation.” The ministry said a Syrian surface-to-air missile accidentally struck the Russian Il-20 aircraft while engaging four Israeli fighter jets in the Syrian coastal province of Latakia late Monday. All 15 Russians on board the aircraft died in the strike. Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov in a statement said the Israeli F-16 aircraft used the Russian plane for cover and only gave it a minute’s warning before the plane was struck down. “We retain the right to an appropriate response,” Konashenkov said, without further explanation. Russia, a key Syrian ally, has two military bases in the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday vowed to boost security for troops in Syria, saying they will be “the steps that everyone will notice.” The downing of the plane occurred just hours after Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reached an agreement to establish a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib region, where government forces threatened a devastating offensive against the last major rebel stronghold in the country divided by civil war.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.