Air war over Syria heats up; Russia blames Israel for Syrian battery shooting down Russian aircraft

Air war over Syria heats up; Russia blames Israel for Syrian battery shooting down Russian aircraft
IL-20 Coot A. Wikimedia Commons, Alan Wilson, UK.

[Ed. – Russia’s the one with the S400 systems in Syria.  Russia does have the option of telling Iran to stop flying arms shipments into the country — and then enforcing that dictate.  That would be the effective way to ensure Israel doesn’t need to achieve surprise by making unannounced air attacks on targets located in Syria.]

Russia on Tuesday accused Israel of indirectly causing a Russian military plane to be shot down near Syria’s Mediterranean coast, and threatened to retaliate against Israel for what it described as a hostile act.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said the Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft, with 15 Russian service personnel on board, was brought down by anti-aircraft batteries of Moscow’s ally, Syria, in a friendly fire incident.

But the ministry said it held Israel responsible because, at the time of the incident, Israeli fighter jets were mounting air attacks on Syria targets and had only given Moscow one minute’s warning, putting the Russian aircraft in danger of being caught in the cross-fire.

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