Russian military plane 'shot down in friendly-fire incident' near Syria

Explosions seen in the Syrian city of Latakia after an attack on a military facility nearby

Explosions seen in the Syrian city of Latakia after an attack on a military facility nearby

A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was brought down by a Syrian missile over the Mediterranean, killing all 15 people on board, the Russian defense ministry said Tuesday.

When asked for comment about Monday's attack, an Israeli military spokeswoman said Israel did not comment on foreign reports.

Israel's military has declined to comment.

United States military officials believe Syrian forces accidentally shot down a Russian aircraft, according to a CNN report.

"The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces".

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that the USA "expresses its sorrow" for the death of the Russian plane crew downed in Syria.

A Russian military plane with 14 servicemen on board has disappeared near Syria's Mediterranean coast.

The strikes followed Israel releasing satellite images of Damascus International Airport and the palace where Syrian President Bashar Assad lives in a possible threat.

Russian Federation also summoned the Israeli ambassador to its foreign ministry.

Russian Federation said it would make an "appropriate response".

Syria, Russia's ally in a prolonged proxy war in the region, claimed its air defenses "intercepted a number" of the missiles headed toward the city, Reuters reported on Monday, citing state-media.

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"As a outcome, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile", it said, adding Israel had warned Russian Federation of an impending airstrike on Latakia only one minute beforehand. The Syrian military shot down a Russian plane while trying to shoot down Israel F-16's.

The IDF said Syrian anti-aircraft batteries had fired "indiscriminately" in response to Israeli airstrikes and "did not bother" to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air.

The defence ministry in Moscow said the aircraft was returning to the Russian-run Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province when, at about 11pm Moscow time on Monday, it disappeared from radar screens.

A U.S. official said that Washington believed the aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery, operated by the Syrian government.

Syrian air defenses sprang to life during the attack, but it's unclear if they shot down anything besides the Russian Il-20. It was unclear if Syrian government or Iranian forces were at the facility.

This month, Israel acknowledged having carried out more than 200 strikes in war-ravaged Syria over the past 18 months, mainly against Iranian targets.

The plane vanished from radar just hours after Russian Federation said there would be no assault against Syria's Idlib as the presidents of Russian Federation and Turkey agreed to create a "demilitarised zone" in the rebel-held province.

All heavy military equipment tanks, ground-to-air missiles and mortars of all the opposition groups will be removed by October 10, the leaders said.

Russia has also suffered personnel losses, including the deaths of 39 people when a Russian military transport plane crashed as it attempted to land at Hmeimim in March.

"We regard these provocative actions by Israel as hostile", Konashenkov warned, adding that Russian Federation "reserves the right to respond adequately".

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