Russia Won't Leave Israeli Actions That Caused Downing of Il-20 Plane Unanswered

Chain of Tragic Circumstances Led to IL-20 Downing: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has addressed the downing of the Russian IL-20, saying that a chain of tragic circumstances has led to the incident which killed 15 Russian military personnel.

Earlier Moscow blamed Israeli jets for having provoked the downing of the plane.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered condolences over the death of the crew of the aircraft Il-20 downed in Syria.

"When people die, especially in such tragic circumstances, this is always a tragedy, a tragedy for us all, for the whole country and for the families of our dead friends. In this connection, I certainly offer my condolences to the relatives of those who got killed in the crash,' Putin said at a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Putin stated that the Russian side is set to thoroughly investigate the case, according to Sputnik.

"Most certainly, we have to sort the case out most seriously. And our attitude to the tragedy is outlined in the Russian Defense Ministry's statement," he noted, adding he approved it.

"Russian retaliatory measures with regard to the Il-20 downing will be directed primarily at stepping up security of Russian military officers in Syria, our military facilities in the Syrian Arab Republic," he said. "These will be the steps everyone will notice" he stressed, Sputnik said.

 Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov stated that the Israeli jets deliberately created a dangerous situation in Latakia by using the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems. He stressed that Israel's aviation control systems could not but notice the Russian aircraft as it was landing.

"We consider Israel’s provocative actions as hostile," Konashenkov said.

Russia to Respond to Israeli Actions That Caused Downing of Il-20 Plane – Shoigu

The Russian Hmeymim 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, Sputnik reported.

"Our reconnaissance Il-20 aircraft with a crew of 15 on board was carrying out a reconnaissance mission over the Idlib de-escalation zone to determine the locations of storage and collection of unmanned aerial vehicles that fly out of the zone and strike different areas of Syria," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated at a meeting with senior military commanders.

Israeli F-16 jets attacked Syria under the cover of the Russian Il-20, assuming that the Syrian air defense forces would not act in this direction, Shoigu said.

"Without warning, more precisely, with a minute beforehand, Israel's informed us of a strike they were planning to conduct; they informed us that they were striking objects in Syria. And then they attacked," the defense minister stated.

He stressed that the Russian Il-20 was shot down "as a result of the response from the Syrian air defense systems to the Israeli forces’ attack."

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.

"Today, we notified our Israeli colleagues, in particular, I notified the Israeli [defense] minister, that we will not leave such actions, such steps, unanswered," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said told the military commanders.

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.

H.M

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