Israeli military: Israeli airforce chief to present findings of Syria incident

Blanche Robertson
September 22, 2018

Earlier this month, it acknowledged having carried out more than 200 strikes in Syria over the past 18 months, mainly against Iranian targets.

But the Russian Defense Ministry said the Israeli warning came less than a minute before the strike, leaving the Russian aircraft in the line of fire.

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin initially described the downing as "tragic chance", Moscow has made its anger clear.

Putin said earlier that the shooting down was the result of a chain of tragic and chance circumstances and appeared to somewhat defuse the situation though he said Russian Federation needed to look further into what happened. But, without any doubt we need to seriously get to the bottom of what happened. "Our attitude towards this tragedy is set forth in a statement by our Defense Ministry, and has been fully coordinated with me". When asked by a reporter if the incident is comparable to Turkey's downing of a Russian jet in Syria in 2015. "This is coming from the same man who, after 2006, said that if he knew what the Israeli response would have been to the kidnapping of three of our soldiers, he would have thought twice whether to do it".

The Russian military says that over 3,000 Syrians have returned to their homes over the past week. The ministry accused the Israeli army of "intentional provocation" and said Israel did not warn Russian Federation of its operation in the area until one minute before the strike. "We will do everything so as not to harm anyone we do not intend to, God forbid", Bennett told Army Radio in a separate interview.

On September 17, 2018, that mistake occurred at the hands of the Syrian air defense systems around Latakia.

But Israel denied the accusations, saying that "when the Syrian Army launched the missiles that hit the Russian plane, (Israeli) jets were already within Israeli airspace".

For now, Amidror said, the key to maintaining Israel's ability to strike inside Syria is convincing Russian Federation that the incident wasn't Israel's fault. "Israel also holds Iran and the Hezbollah terror organization accountable for this unfortunate incident".

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"It is a very important target for Israel to prevent the Iranians from building this independent war machine in Syria and to prevent the Iranians from transferring game-changer weapons systems into the hands of Hezbollah". From Tel Aviv's perspective, Israel can not tolerate such a threat.

"These weapons were meant to attack Israel, and posed an intolerable threat against it".

Israel insisted it warned Russian forces of its raid ahead of time in accordance with previous agreements. One of those missiles struck a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance plane, killing all 15 crew members on board.

The Israeli air attack was indeed a sensitive, if necessary, operation, near the Russian air base in the area and on the eve of the Jewish sacred holiday of Yom Kippur.

Before the latest incident, Russian Federation had lost at least seven warplanes and seven combat helicopters in Syria and also had seen dozens of troops killed in ground combat.

The statement added that "new information will emerge soon", on the incident which Russian Federation partly blamed on Israel.

Netanyahu on Tuesday expressed his "sorrow" to Putin in a phone call, offering to assist Moscow in the investigation.

"Moscow views as irresponsible and unfriendly actions of [the] Israeli Air Force, which exposed Russian Il-20 aircraft to danger and lead to death of 15 servicemen", the Russian embassy in Israel stated on Twitter. Israeli military officials have previously praised its effectiveness. The IDF has worked closely with Russian Federation to ensure that Israel can maintain freedom to maneuver in Syria, focused on diminishing the substantial Iranian support for Hezbollah and defending the Jewish State as necessary. "The glue binding this gentleman's agreement - the Putin-Netanyahu personal relationship - will likely tide this issue over for the time being".

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