BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said that it looks like a “chain of tragic random events” were behind the IL-20 crash in Syria. He made the comment during a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow on Tuesday.
Putin said that this incident was different from when a Turkish fighter jet downed a Russian SU-24 near the Turkish border on November 24, 2015, because “an Israeli jet did not down ours” and that Russia’s response “will be aimed at providing additional security for our service members and our facilities in the Syrian Arab Republic.”
Orban was on a working visit to Russia. Among other things, the leaders discussed the energy situation in Europe with Orban expressing his desire for a branch of the Turkish Stream pipeline to run through Hungary.
The Russian Defence Ministry stated on Tuesday that a Russian Il-20 jet was downed by the Syrian Air Defence Forces after an Israeli F-16 used it as cover during its missile attack on Syrian targets. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked Syrian targets near the Latakia city on Monday evening, after approaching them from the Mediterranean Sea.
The Israeli Defense Forces tweeted the following: “Israel expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members of the Russian plane that was downed tonight due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Israel holds the Assad regime, whose military shot down the Russian plane, fully responsible for this incident.”
The Syrian government is yet to comment.
Video credit: Ruptly