11:44 GMT +321 November 2019
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    An Israeli F-16 multirole fighter. File photo

    F-16s Were Already in Israeli Airspace When Syria Hit Russian Aircraft - IDF

    © AP Photo / Ariel Schalit, file
    Middle East
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The IDF stated earlier in the day that Israel would share all information on the incident with Moscow, also expressing regret over the deaths of the Russian troops and put the blame on Damascus and Tehran.

    "When the Syrian Army launched the missiles that hit the Russian plane, IAF [Israeli Air Force] jets were already within Israeli airspace … During the strike against the target in Latakia, the Russian plane that was then hit was not within the area of the operation," the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) wrote on Twitter.

    The military noted that the incident was caused by "extensive and inaccurate" fire of Syrian air defense systems.

    "The Syrian anti-air batteries fired indiscriminately and from what we understand, did not bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air," the IDF added.

    The Russian Hmeimim airbase had lost contact with the crew of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft late on Monday during the attack of four Israeli F-16 aircraft on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia. The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier on Tuesday that the Israeli military deliberately created a dangerous situation by using the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems. As a result, the Il-20 jet was downed by a missile launched by Syria's S-200 air defense system.

    READ MORE: Israel Unlikely to Fly Freely Over Syria After Il-20 Incident — Ex-Official

    The incident claimed the lives of 15 Russian servicemen. The Russian military said it regards Israel's provocative actions as hostile and reserves the right to a proper response.


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    Il-20, F-16, Plane crash, Israeli Air Force (IAF), Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israel, Syria, Russia
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