Moscow’s embassy in Tel Aviv lashes out at Israel for its “irresponsible and unfriendly actions,” which led to the deaths of 15 Russian servicemen aboard an ill-fated aircraft in Syria, as Israel’s air force commander visits Russia to give explanations on the tragic incident.
In a Thursday tweet, the Russian diplomatic mission pinned the blame for the recent accidental downing of the surveillance plane in Syria’s Latakia Province on Israel’s Air Force, which was conducting aerial assaults against Syrian army positions when the incident happened.
“Moscow views as irresponsible and unfriendly actions of Israeli Air Force, which exposed Russian Il-20 aircraft to danger and lead to death of 15 servicemen,” the tweet said.
“Russia would take all necessary measures to eliminate threat to life and security of our military fighting against terrorism,” it added.
The Russian Il-20 was mistakenly shot down by Syrian air defenses when it was preparing to land in the Moscow-run Hmeimim airbase in Latakia. The Syrian S-200 missile defense system was responding to a wave of strikes by four Israeli warplanes.
Moscow blamed Tel Aviv for the incident, saying its military planes deliberately “created a dangerous situation” that led to the crash.
The Russian military also said the ill-fated plane was used as a cover by the Israeli air force, and that Moscow reserves the right to give a due response.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn, censured Israeli air raids as a breach of Syrian sovereignty, saying the regime failed to respect previous agreements on the prevention of such incidents in Syrian skies.
Israel’s envoy to Moscow was also summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The Russian embassy’s tweet coincided with the arrival in Moscow of Israeli Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin, where he is set to brief Russian officials on how the incident happened.
At the request of Damascus, the Russian military has been offering assistance to Syrian armed forces on the battleground against a myriad of terror groups wreaking havoc in the Arab country.
Many of those terror groups have the backing of Israel and its allies in their bid to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The regime has over the past years carried out numerous strikes against Syrian army positions in what is widely viewed as an attempt to help the terrorists survive in the face of successful Syrian army operations.
According to Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, the regime has taken military action within Syria more than 200 times in the last two years alone.
Defying criticisms of Tel Aviv’s unlawful military actions against Syrian soil, the Israeli minister for military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, said Thursday that the regime will not stop such attacks, but would do more to “de-conflict” them with Russian forces.
Earlier, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sent a letter of condolences to Putin over the deaths of Russian servicemen, saying the incident cannot undermine the resolve of Moscow and Damascus to fight the terrorists.
– Press TV