French frigate Auvergne was not involved in the disappearance of a Russian Il-20 electronic reconnaissance aircraft over Syria, a spokesman for the French military said on 18 September.
“We deny any involvement,” Colonel Patrik Steiger, a spokesman for France’s military, told Reuters.
The Il-20 electronic reconnaissance aircraft was over the Mediterranean Sea about 20 miles from the Syrian coastline, Russia’s TASS news agency quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.
Russia’s defence ministry said overnight that one of its military aircraft with 14 people on board disappeared from radar screens over Syria at the same time that Israeli and French forces were mounting aerial attacks on targets in Syria.
Russia has stated that its radar detected missile launches coming from the French frigate Auvergne at the same time four Israeli F-16s attacked Syrian targets.
Russian official said that: “At the same time Russian air control radar systems detected rocket launches from the French frigate Auvergne which was located in that region.”
According to Syrian media, missiles were fired toward military targets close to three large cities in the north of Syria: Lattakia, Homs and Hama.
In recent weeks there has been a significant uptick in the amount of reports attributing attacks to Israel. Previous attacks, according to foreign media, mostly targeted the area of the Damascus International Airport.