BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:45 P.M.) – The Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) System is not to blame for the downing of the IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft off the coast of Syria on Monday evening, the Spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said this morning.
Maj. Gen. Konashenkov said that there were no precedents for transferring Russian IFF systems to other states, including the Syrian Arab Republic.
“The IFF system of state recognition is strictly individual for each state, and even for weapons and military equipment exported from Russia within the framework of military-technical cooperation, it has never been installed. All this fully applies to the domestic air defense systems delivered to the Syrian Arab Republic,” Konashenkov said.
Furthermore, the IFF system that is used by the Russian military is only used by aircraft and air defense systems that are Russia.
“The IFF system of state recognition used by Russia is only used by aircraft and air defense systems identified as Russian. There have never been any precedents for the transfer of such a system, together with Russian identification codes, to another state, and in principle cannot be,” Konashenkov added.
Both Syrian and Israeli leaders have offered their condolences for the death of the 15 Russian servicemen, while also blaming one another for the downing of the IL-20 aircraft.