In apparent about-turn, Russian embassy tears into Israel for downing of plane

Video Pause AP Russian warplanes parked at Hemeimeem air base in Syria on Marc

Video Pause AP Russian warplanes parked at Hemeimeem air base in Syria on Marc

Israel on September 18 said Syrian antiaircraft batteries "fired indiscriminately" and failed to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air during the incident on September 17. Then, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Il-20 disappeared off the radars during airstrikes delivered by four Israeli F-16 fighter jets on the Syrian targets in Latakia province.

"Moscow views as irresponsible and unfriendly actions of Israeli Air Force, which exposed Russian Il-20 aircraft to danger and led to death of 15 servicemen", the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv said on Twitter in English, adding that Russia would "take all necessary measures to eliminate threat to life and security of our military fighting against terrorism".

The Israeli military said its fighter jets were targeting a Syrian military facility near Latakia involved in providing weapons for Iran's Lebanese proxy Hezbollah and has insisted it warned Russian Federation of the coming raid in accordance with deconfliction agreements.

Russian Federation has acknowledged that antiaircraft forces of its ally Syria inadvertently brought down the Il-20 plane, but it also blamed Israel for conducting a fighter jet raid on Syrian forces around the same time.

Despite calling it a "friendly fire" incident, the Defense ministry held Israel responsible.

Israel, for its part, denied any responsibility, instead blaming Syria's Assad regime for the incident.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Russian Federation "all necessary information" to investigate.

But when pressed during the interview, Lieberman avoided asserting Israeli "freedom of action" over Syria, a term he has used in the past.

However following anger among Russia's military brass and threats of "retaliation", Putin "reminded" Netanyahu that such operations "violated Syrian sovereignty" and said "agreements around the prevention of risky incidents were not observed", according to the Kremlin.

"Netanyahu will likely persuade Russian Federation not to carry out its threat [to deliver the air-defense system] in response to the aircraft incident", the analyst wrote.

Israel has carried out some 200 such strikes in Syrian territory in recent years, the country's intelligence minister admitted earlier this month. There were 15 Russian troops aboard the plane.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized Iran, which has reportedly shipped sophisticated weaponry to the Hizballah fighters in Lebanon.

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