Syria inadvertently shot down a Russian military plane after an Israeli attack on Syrian positions, killing 15 people on board, Moscow said.
The Russian military said Tuesday that the Russian maritime patrol aircraft was shot by Syrian regime anti-aircraft artillery amid the Israeli attack on Monday, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
Moscow blamed Israel for putting its aircraft in the line of fire, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
"As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian servicemen were killed, which is absolutely not in keeping with the spirit of Russian-Israeli partnership," said Russian Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesperson for the Russian military, according to RIA-Novosti.
A US official with knowledge of the incident said Monday that the Syrians were trying to stop a barrage of Israeli missiles when the Russian aircraft was hit. A second official confirmed that Israel was responsible for the missile strikes on Syria.
An official in Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman's office told CNN there had been a conversation between Liberman and his Russian counterpart. The official would make no further comment.
Russian state news agency TASS reported that a Russian IL-20 military aircraft disappeared over the Mediterranean on Monday. TASS, citing the Russian defense ministry, said the aircraft went off the radars during an attack by four Israeli F-16 aircraft on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia, where Russia has based much of its military presence, including aircraft.
BDST: 1640 HRS, SEP 18, 2018