U.S. expresses 'sorrow' over plane downed in Syria, Russia summons Israel envoy

Syria analysts wary of quick-fix Idlib deal

Syria analysts wary of quick-fix Idlib deal

A Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile brought down the plane, the ministry said.

"The Israeli pilots were using the Russian aircraft as a shield and pushed it into the line of fire of the Syrian defense", said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj.

Syrian anti-aircraft artillery reportedly responded to a number of Israeli missiles that were launched towards the coastal city of Latakia when it accidentally shot the Russian maritime patrol aircraft, according to a United States military official cited in the report.

MOSCOW - Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday it had summoned Israel's ambassador in Moscow over the shooting down of a Russian military plane near Syria.

"It rather looks like a chain of tragic accidental circumstances", Putin said.

"We heard a very powerful explosion.we went to the balcony to see what was happening".

"Connection has been lost with the crew of a Russian Il-20 plane over the Mediterranean Sea 35 kilometres from the Syrian coast as it was returning to the Hmeimim airbase", the Russian defence ministry said early Tuesday. 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.

The Israeli military laid the blame on Syrian forces, which it said "fired indiscriminately and from what we understand, did not bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air".

This could be an indication the Russian military wanted to de-escalate the situation.

Russian Federation has frequently boasted about its air defenses in Syria and their ability to repel attacks from even top-of-the-line USA stealth jets.

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.

An Israeli F-16 fighter jet takes off during an air show at the graduation ceremony of Israeli air force pilots at the Hatzerim base in the Negev desert, near the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva, on December 29, 2016.

He noted the importance of the continuation of security coordination between Israel and Russian Federation, saying it helped prevent many losses on both sides.

Israel's air force has struck scores of targets it describes as Iranian deployments or arms transfers to Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement in the war.

Map locates Lattakia, Syria, where Russian military says one of its jets disappeared.

Russia blamed Israel after Syria shot down a Russian plane above the Mediterranean during an air battle on Monday night.

Syria, a Russian ally, operates numerous Russian-made air defenses but has never demonstrated a significant ability to intercept incoming missiles.

Since intervening in Syria's civil war in 2015, Russian Federation has generally turned a blind eye to the Israeli attacks on these targets.

Though Syria claimed it downed numerous missiles fired by the U.S. last year and earlier this year as punishment for chemical attacks blamed on the Syrian military, it never provided any evidence. "Israel will share all the relevant information with the Russian Government to review the incident and to confirm the facts in this inquiry", the IDF said.

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