06:32 GMT +321 October 2018
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    Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman

    Israeli-Russian Contacts Via Secure Channels Unaffected by Il-20 Crash -Minister

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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) – The recent crash of a Russian Il-20 plane near Syria has not led to secure communication between Israel and Russia being cut off, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Thursday.

    "First of all, we appreciate our relations with Russia as well as very significant coordination in the security sphere between the Russian military and the Israel Defense Forces. At the same time, we are not interested in maintaining a dialogue with Russia via media … We continue our contacts and coordination, all of which is done through secure channels," Lieberman said.

    The minister also again accused Syrian troops of being responsible for the incident.

    READ MORE: Kremlin Denies Russia Rejected Offer on Netanyahu Visit After Il-20 Downing

    The Russian Il-20 military aircraft, which was 22 miles off the Syrian coast, was shot down on September 17 while returning to the Hmeimim airbase. At the same time, four Israeli F-16 aircraft were bombing Syrian targets in Latakia province. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Israel notified Russia of the airstrikes only a minute before they started, 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 jet was downed by a missile launched by Syria's S-200 air defense system at 10:03 p.m. local time (19:03 GMT). The incident claimed the lives of 15 Russian servicemen.

    The Russian Defense Ministry released detailed information on Il-20 crash in Syria
    © Photo : Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
    On Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced measures to boost security for Russian servicemen in response to the Il-20 crash. According to the minister, Russia would equip the Syrian air defense forces’ command posts with automatic control systems, which had previously been possessed only by Russia. Russian systems will also carry out radio-electronic suppression of satellite navigation, airborne radars and combat communications systems of aircraft, attacking Syrian targets. Moscow will also deliver advanced S-300 air defense systems to Syria.

    Israel has refuted the accusations of its aircraft using the Il-20 as a shield and maintains that Moscow was warned about the air raid in a timely manner.

    Related:

    Russia to Send S-300 Anti-Missile System to Syria After Il-20 Crash - DM Shoigu
    Israel's Military Selfishness, Lack of Coordination Led to Il-20 Crash - Scholar
    Israel Can't Get Away With Il-20 Downing in Syria – IR Scholars
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    contacts, Il-20, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel, Russia
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