Israel Sheds Light on Contacts With Russian Military After Il-20 Downing

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JERUSALEM (Sputnik) - Israeli and Russian military maintain contacts after the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane off the Syrian coast, and the conflict prevention mechanism remains operational, Deputy Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Alexander Ben-Zvi stated.

"The contacts between Israeli and Russian military continue and our deconflicting mechanism works. After the incident with the plane, the work with Russia continues. We cannot say that we should ignore this. But our relationship is much more developed so that this [incident with the downed aircraft] could stop our meetings," Ben-Zvi told reporters.

Moscow-Tel Aviv relations have been put to test following the tragic downing of the Russian plane off the Syrian coast. 

The Il-20 was downed near on September 17 by a missile launched by Syria's S-200 air defense system. The plane, caught in the crossfire, had 15 Russian servicemen on board.

READ MORE: Israeli Forces Will Not Target S-300s in Syria If Used Appropriately — IDF Gen.

An Israeli F-15 E fighter jet takes off during an air show. - Sputnik International
Israel Has Conducted Strikes in Syria Since Downing of Russian Plane - Reports
The Russian Defense Ministry put the blame for the crash on the Israeli Air Forces that were carrying out airstrikes against the Syrian province of Latakia at the time of the incident, arguing that the Israeli jets used the Il-20 as a shield against the Syrian air defense systems and that Israel notified Russia of its operation only a minute before the attack.

In its turn, Israel has refuted the accusations and insisted that Moscow was warned about the air operation in a timely manner.

After the incident, Russia decided to deliver several S-300 air defense systems to Syria in October.

Over the last two years, Israel has struck Syria on multiple occasions, claiming that it targets alleged Iran-backed forces, including Hezbollah.

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