Syria's Assad offers condolences to Russia's Putin for Il-20 plane crash

Syria's Assad offers condolences to Russia's Putin for Il-20 plane crash

Syria's Assad offers condolences to Russia's Putin for Il-20 plane crash

It was during this time that the Russian spy plane, with 15 people on board, was said to have been shot down.

Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the "the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event", and the "pre-mission information" the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.

Russian Federation has acknowledged that antiaircraft forces of its ally Syria inadvertently brought down the Il-20 plane, but it also blamed Israel for conducting a fighter jet raid on Syrian forces around the same time.

It added that the delegation would "present the continuous Iranian attempts to transfer strategic weapons to Hezbollah.and to establish an Iranian military presence in Syria".

The Russian Defense Ministry said a missile from Syria's S-200 air defense system shot down the Il-20 surveillance plane with Russian servicemen by mistake because an Israeli airstrike took place at the same time, blaming a simultaneous Israeli strike as the cause of the mistake.

Earlier this month, it acknowledged having carried out more than 200 strikes in Syria over the past 18 months, mainly against Iranian targets.

The Russian military has accused Israeli pilots of using the Russian plane as a cover, "exposing it to fire from Syrian air defenses".

According to Israel, this attack continued after the Israeli fighter jets left the area.

Assad expressed confidence that such incidents would not affect joint Moscow-Damascus fight against terrorism, the official news agency SANA reported.

"This unfortunate incident was the result of Israeli arrogance and depravity", the Syrian leader said.

However, he insisted the Russian plane had been felled by "extensive and inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft (fire)".

But President Vladimir Putin, who spoke to his Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone on Tuesday, then called it "a chain of tragic chance events" although he added that Russian Federation needed to "seriously get to the bottom of what happened".

"These will be the steps that everyone will notice", he said, without providing further details.

It was the worst "friendly fire" incident between Moscow and the Syrian regime since Russian forces intervened in the country in late 2015 to support Assad whose grip on power had been weakened by rebels and jihadist fighters.

The incident marked the first mistake strike between Syria and Russian Federation, which is the main ally to the Syrian government.

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