Russian Military Plane Carrying 14 Disappears Near Syrian Coast

18 September, 2018, 10:09 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Captain Or Naaman who commanded the team that shot down a Syrian plane in an interview broadcast

Around the time the plane disappeared, the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, near a Russian airbase to which the Il-20 was returning, came under attack from "enemy missiles" and missile defence batteries responded, Syrian state media reported.

United States officials told CNN and Reuters that Washington believed Syrian air defenses had accidentally shot down the Russian aircraft.

The plane was 35 kilometers off the coast of Syria when it went off the radars, RT quoted the Russian defense ministry as saying.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on September 18 that the Il-20 aircraft disappeared from radar at around the same time that Israeli F-16 fighters attacked targets in the Syrian province of Latakia.

Russian Federation pointed the finger at a French Navy ship, The Auvergne, which was in the area at the time it lost contact with its aircraft.

However, the downing of a Russian aircraft in the crowded airspace over Syria may alter Israeli military calculations and its ability to operate against Iran.

"The French army denies any involvement in this attack", a French army spokesman said.

"The trace of the Il-20 on flight control radars disappeared during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets on Syrian facilities in Latakia province", the statement was quoted as saying.

Hassan Ammar/AP PhotoDamascus skies erupt with surface-to-air missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital, April 14, 2018.

"Regime forces and military personnel" are said to be among the wounded.

The news site said the plane is capable of monitoring Syrian skies in real time.

Mr Putin said "radical militants" such as the Al Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham would have to withdraw from the zone.

The US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the US government's operating theory was that the Syrian defences accidentally shot down the Russian aircraft while firing at incoming Israeli missiles.

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government.

Syria's conflict erupted in 2011 and has since killed more than 360,000 people, with millions more displaced internally and in neighbouring countries.

The port city of Latakia is home to the family of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and a bastion of loyalty to his regime.

Israel's air force has struck scores of targets it claimed were Iranian deployments and arms transfers to Hezbollah.



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