United States expresses 'sorrow' over plane downed in Syria, Russia summons Israel envoy

Turkish FM discusses Syria with US counterpart on phone

Turkish FM discusses Syria with US counterpart on phone

It said Syrian forces mistakenly downed the Il-20 reconnaissance plane with an S-200 air-defense missile as they attempted to fight off an attack by Israeli planes.

Gen. Ronen Manelis said in a statement that Israel "expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members of the Russian plane that was downed tonight due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire", Haartz reported.

Furthermore, the Syrian air defences should have known the Russian plane was in-bound, whatever the Israelis were doing.

"By using the Russian plane as a cover, the Israeli pilots made it vulnerable to Syrian air defence fire".

Israel is widely believed to have been behind a series of air strikes mainly targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria that have joined the country's war fighting alongside the government. "But, without any doubt, we need to seriously get to the bottom of what happened", he said.

"Two bodies were found", he told AFP, adding that he could not immediately confirm whether the casualties were soldiers or militiamen from the forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Its air force began strikes in aid of Damascus in September 2015, entering a conflict that has drawn in and entangled an array of worldwide actors.

Throughout the fighting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has maintained continuous contact with Russian Federation. It was said that the Israeli flight control devices and the F-16 pilots "could not but see the Russian plane as it was coming in for a landing at an altitude of 5 km".

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has invested a lot in the relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to maintain freedom of operation against Iran in Syria. But they missed and ended up shooting down a Russian military aircraft flying over the Mediterranean Sea.

Russian Federation has not yet officially directed blame towards Israel for the attack.

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The UN had warned that a fully-fledged ground assault aimed at completing Damascus's military reconquest could spark the worst humanitarian catastrophe yet in a conflict that has killed more 360,000. "And these will be steps that everyone will notice", Putin said.

Russian state media reported that the IL-20 plane with 14 servicemen aboard "disappeared" on Monday over the Mediterranean, near the Hmeimim airbase in Syria. Russia's presence in Latakia includes a large naval base, which was reportedly under attack by an unclaimed missile strike that Syria alleges to have come from Israel.

Since intervening in Syria, Russia has turned a blind eye to these attacks. Israeli military officials have previously praised its effectiveness.

The Russian plane went down during a massive air battle between Israeli jets and Syrian air defenses, which sprang to life during a missile attack that pounded an ammunition depot and an industrial compound.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also accused Israel of failing to inform the Russian military of its plans, which he said would have been in the "spirit" of Israeli-Russian coordination in Syria.

"We regard these provocative actions of Israel as hostile".

Several countries have military operations underway around Syria.

Hundreds of people gathered in Binnish, a town in the rebel-held province of Idlib, following Monday's announcement in Sochi. Russian Federation and Turkey struck an agreement that created a new demilitarised zone in Idlib from which "radical" militants must withdraw.

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