Israel's Military Selfishness, Lack of Coordination Led to Il-20 Crash - Scholar

© AP Photo / Ariel Schalit, fileAn Israeli F-16 multirole fighter. File photo
An Israeli F-16 multirole fighter. File photo - Sputnik International
CAIRO (Sputnik) – Israel is guided solely by its military interests in the region, and this factor along with the lack of coordination with the Russian side led to the crash of Russia's Il-20 military plane in Syria, Egyptian military expert Adil Suleiman told Sputnik.

The Egyptian analyst noted that the tragedy was the result of a lack of coordination at the operational and tactical levels. "It was not taken seriously in full, especially by the Israeli side," Suleiman said.

"Israel does not care about anything apart from its interests, especially with regard to military operations. It is not ready to bear military losses and look weak… Israel is not interested in who is on the other side, whether it is the Syrian side, which is armed with Russian advanced weapons, or any other," he noted.

READ MORE: Israel Can't Get Away With Il-20 Downing in Syria — IR Scholars

On Thursday, an Israeli military delegation led by Israeli Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin visited Moscow in a bid to prove Israel's non-involvement in the tragedy.

"Israel believes that it can solve any problem by making an apology or sending high-ranking military chiefs to the other side to explain its position. It is used to this and thinks it can settle such situations," Suleiman added.

According to the expert, the IL-20 crash also "demonstrates the fact that coordination was not at a due level of professionalism and the incident could have been averted if coordination and communication had been at a high level."

"In this case, the Syrian side has to be involved so that Russian aircraft are not exposed to the fire of the Syrian air defense," Suleiman noted.

He added that the Israeli side was not released from responsibility, but good coordination was necessary given the complexity of the Syrian problem, and presence of many international players in the region, such as Russia, Turkey, Israel, Iran, and others.

An Israeli F-16 multirole fighter. File photo - Sputnik International
Israeli Attack Which Led to Il-20 Tragedy Was Reaction to Idlib Truce – Analyst
The Russian Il-20 military aircraft, which was 22 miles off the Syrian coast, was shot down on September 17, while returning to the Hmeymim airbase. At the same time, four Israeli F-16 aircraft were bombing Syrian targets in the province of Latakia.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Israel notified Russia of the airstrikes only a minute before their start and provided misleading information concerning the area of the attack and the location of Israeli F-16 jets.

The ministry said that the Israeli pilots used the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems. As a result, the Il-20 plane was downed by a missile launched by Syria's S-200 air defense system. The incident claimed the lives of 15 Russian servicemen.

The Russian Defense Ministry placed the blame for the catastrophe on the Israeli Air Force and on those who had made the decision to carry out the airstrike.

READ MORE: After Il-20: Why Israel Will Have to Demonstrate That It Values Russian Lives

According to the ministry's data, the Russian side informed Israel of the tragedy at 10:29 p.m. local time (19:29 GMT), asking to call off F-16 fighter jets from the area of the incident, however, they continued to remain there until 10:40 p.m., as radars showed. It was not until 10:53 p.m that the Israeli side informed that its jets had left the area, meaning that a total of 50 minutes had passed since the Russian aircraft was hit by a missile.

The views expressed by Adil Suleiman are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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