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Israel accused after Russian spy plane lost over Syria

25 September 2018

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman warned earlier this year that Israel will respond with force if anyone shoots at Israeli planes.

Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton also warned Russian Federation that supplying the weapons would be a "major mistake", denouncing the sale as a "significant escalation" on Monday.

But Monday, the Kremlin seemed to take a tougher stance, blaming the downing on "the deliberate actions of Israeli pilots" and saying Israel's explanations weren't convincing, according to spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Shoigu also said that Russia would equip Syrian air defense command posts with automated control systems, previously supplied only to the Russian armed forces. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also said Russian Federation planned to jam radars of military planes striking from off the coast of the Mediterranean. However, the Syrian military has already received training to use the system.

'Russia in this case is acting in its interests only, these actions are not directed against third countries, but towards defending our own military, ' he said.

Bolton said the United States was doing everything it could to ensure Syria did not use chemical weapons and had pressed Russian Federation about the issue as well.

A spokesperson for the Israeli army on Monday declined to comment on Moscow's S-300 delivery.

Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks during an interview with the Greek Kathimerini newspaper, in Damascus, Syria, in this photo released May 10, 2018.

Peskov said the new measures were only to boost the security of its troops in Syria.

Russia, which fights in Syria to support the government, has said Syria shot the IL-20 surveillance plane down by mistake shortly after Israeli jets hit a nearby target.

"Monitoring the Il-20, the Israeli fighters used it as cover from the anti-aircraft missiles" and continued to patrol the area long after the Russian plane was shot down, he said. Moscow has tried to maintain good relations with Iran, which is also allied with the Syrian government, and Israel, which is wary of Iran's growing influence in Syria.

A Russian military Ilyushin IL-20 landing at Kubinka air base on June 3, 2011.

Trump administration officials are warning Russian Federation against sending new anti-aircraft weapons to Syria at the same time they are confirming USA troops will stay in the country after the final defeat of the Islamic State, in part to act as a check on Iranian ambitions. It said that the Israeli Air Force gave the Russian side less than a minute's warning before their air raid, leaving virtually no time for any safety maneuvers.

Just hours after Bolton's remarks, Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that "there is no daylight" between his position on Syria and Bolton's.

"It is quite clear that the missile was targeting the Israeli jet", he noted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks through the porthole while aboard the presidential plane on December 11, 2017, during the approach to the Russian air base in Hmeimim in the northwestern Syrian province of Latakia.

Mattis declined to provide any timetable for how long USA troops might remain in Syria, but there was a noticeable show of force recently when Marines conducted a training exercise near the US outpost neat At Tanf, in which they trained with local Syrian forces.

Nevertheless, the Israeli military said that it would continue to operate against Iran and Hezbollah in Syria and that it hoped its coordination efforts with Russian Federation continued.

Israel accused after Russian spy plane lost over Syria