Russia’s Defense Ministry confirms that Syrian air defenses inadvertently shot down a Russian Il-20 electronic reconnaissance aircraft over the eastern Mediterranean Sea, killing 15 on board.
“On September 17, at about 11:00 pm Moscow time, the connection with the crew of the Russian Il-20 aircraft was lost over the Mediterranean Sea when the plane was returning to the airbase of Khmeimim, 35 kilometers from the coast of Syria,” the official said.
The ministry specified that “the mark of Il-20 went off the radars disappeared during the attack of four Israeli F-16 aircraft on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia.”
The military said the plane disappeared as four Israeli fighter jets were attacking targets in the area.
The Russian Ministry of Defence blamed the Israeli Air Force for pushing the Russian aircraft into the line of fire of Syrian missiles.
“The Russian plane was shot down as a result of the fact that Israeli pilots pushing the Russian aircraft into the line of fire of the S-200 missile of the Syrian air defense system,” said in the statement of Russia’s Defense Ministry.
The Israeli military had no reaction, saying it does not comment on “foreign reports.”