BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 P.M.) – Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said he warned his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman that “actions” such as the downing of Russian aircraft over Syria will not be left unanswered, speaking in Moscow on Tuesday.
“Today we informed our Israeli colleagues, in particular I, informed Israeli defence minister [Avigdor Lieberman] that we would not leave such actions without a response,” Shoigu said.
Earlier on Tuesday the Russian Defence Ministry stated 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.
In a statement, the Israeli Defence Forces denied responsibility for the downing of the plane: “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.”