21:35 GMT16 April 2021
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    Russian Il-20 Military Plane Shot Down Over Syria (35)

    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin is in Moscow following Monday's crash of a Russian Il-20 aircraft in Syria, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Jonathan Conricus told Sputnik.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that he sent Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin to Moscow after the incident with a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane in order to preserve cooperation with Russia and to protect Israeli citizens.

    "I decided to send the Air Force commander to Moscow with a double purpose: to continue to protect our citizens while preserving cooperation between our countries," Netanyahu said in a statement circulated by his office.

    However, as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sputnik on Thursday, there is no meeting with the commander of the Israeli Air Force Amikam Norkin in the current work schedule of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus earlier confirmed that Norkin was in Moscow on a visit to share the data related to the tragic incident with the Russian military plane in the Mediterranean.

    "The IDF delegation to Moscow, led by the Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, has held several meetings with the Commander of the Russian Air Force, senior commanders of the Russian army and other officials of the Russian Air Force. The meetings were conducted following the agreement between the Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu and the Russian President, Mr. Vladimir Putin," an IDF spokesperson said in a statement.

    According to the spokesperson, both sides stressed the importance of the countries' interests and the continued implementation of the deconfliction system.

    "The Israeli officers presented the situation report regarding the downing of the Russian plane by Syrian anti-aircraft fire on Monday night, as well as the pre-mission information and the findings of the IDF's inquiry of the event. The meetings were held in good spirits and the representatives shared a professional, open and transparent discussion on various issues," the spokesperson added.

    Also, the Israeli defense delegation on Thursday handed over to Russia the information on Iran's alleged attempts to establish military presence in Syria at an "open and transparent" meeting over the crash of a Russian Il-20 aircraft off the Syrian coast, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

    "The IDF presented the ongoing Iranian attempts to establish its military presence in Syria and to transfer strategic weapons to the Hezbollah terror organization… The meetings were held in good spirits and the representatives shared a professional, open and transparent discussion on various issues," IDF spokesperson said in a statement.

    The Israeli delegation currently continues to hold meetings in Moscow and will return to Israel on Friday's morning, the spokesperson added.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said contact with Russia's Il-20 returning to the Hmeimim airbase was lost late on September 17. The ministry said that around that time four Israeli F-16 fighters attacked Syrian targets in Latakia. It said that Israeli pilots put the Russian aircraft under the attack of Syria's air defenses, and the Il-20 was shot down by an S-200 missile. Fifteen Russian servicemen were killed.

    READ MORE: Israel Reiterates Its Stance on Russian IL-20 Downing in Syria

    The Defense Ministry said Israeli aircraft deliberately created a dangerous situation in Latakia. Israel had not warned the command of the Russian group of troops in Syria about the planned operation in the area. The Russian military said it regards Israel's provocative actions as hostile and reserves the right to a proper response.

    Russian Il-20 Military Plane Shot Down Over Syria (35)


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