Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Russian Military Jet Carrying 14 People Disappears Over Mediterranean Sea

Russian Military Jet Carrying 14 People Disappears Over Mediterranean Sea

Russia's defence ministry on Tuesday said that one of its reconnaissance aircraft with 15 people on board was shot down by a Syrian regime missile over the Mediterranean Sea, accusing Israeli aircraft for "pushing" the Russian plane into the line of fire.

It said Israel had "set up" Russian Federation, warning it about a planned operation one minute beforehand.

"We view the actions of the Israeli military as hostile", Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian state television.

Russia's claim was contradicted by United States reports that said Syria's air defenses were "largely ineffective" in response to its "precise and overwhelming" strikes.

This story is being updated.

A U.S. official told Reuters the plane could have been accidentally downed by a Syrian government anti-aircraft battery as defences were activated in response to the French and Israeli attack.

A search and rescue operation for the remains of the Russian plane was ongoing.

Israel's military has declined to comment.

Air traffic controllers at Khmeimim Airbase "lost contact" with the aircraft on Monday evening, during an attack by Israeli F-16 fighters on Latakia.

Jurgen Klopp backs Neymar over World Cup antics
He already had an injury - everybody could see that. "We'll try to avoid passes to him". It's good news that it will be close.

The defense ministry said 15 people were killed when the Russian plane was brought down as it came in to land at the Hmeymim air base in western Syria, which is controlled by Russian forces.

But on Tuesday morning, following the French military denying involvement in the plane's disappearance, RIA news agency reported the Kremlin has accused Israeli aircraft of deliberately creating a "dangerous" situation.

In recent weeks, Russian officials have repeatedly said that rebels in Idlib were preparing a chemical weapons attack that could be blamed on the Syrian Government and prompt a retaliatory strike by the West.

The ministry also earlier said it also detected missile launches from a French frigate nearby at around that time.

Almost half an hour later, it said the strikes continued.

He said the site on the eastern outskirts of Latakia belonged to government forces, but added it was unclear whether the depots were being used by regime troops or those of key ally Iran.

This would entail a "withdrawal of all radical fighters" from Idlib including the Al-Nusra Front and also the withdrawal of heavy weaponry including tanks, multiple launch rocket systems, Putin said.

Russia's military operation in Syria, which began in late 2015, has turned the tide of the conflict in favor of Moscow's ally, Syria's Bashar Assad, in his fight against opposition groups.

Moscow has previously lost aircraft during its Syria campaign.

Like this: