Syrian anti-aircraft weapons accidentally shoot down Russian plane during 'Israeli missile attack'

18 Septembre, 2018, 11:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Syrian state media is now reporting missile attacks targeting a technological institute in the city of Latakia

The fate of the military personnel is unknown, the ministry said in a statement which was carried by Russian news agencies.

A Russian military surveillance plane with 14 crew members has disappeared over the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and CNN reported that Syrian antiaircraft forces may have shot it down.

Around the time the plane disappeared, the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, near a Russian airbase to which the Il-20 was returning, came under attack from "enemy missiles" and missile defence batteries responded, Syrian state media reported.

Syrian anti-aircraft artillery reportedly responded to a number of Israeli missiles that were launched towards the coastal city of Latakia when it accidentally shot the Russian maritime patrol aircraft, according to a United States military official cited in the report. But Israeli jets have struck Syria dozens of times in recent years, mostly targeting Iranian and Hezbollah positions.

Earlier in the day, Israel released satellite images of Assad's palace, Damascus International Airport and other strategic sites in Syria in what appeared to be a less than oblique threat to the Syrian ruler.

A Syrian facility linked to the country's chemical weapons program was bombed on Monday night, triggering Syrian air defenses, state media reported.

Contact was lost at about 23:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Monday, it added.

RT.com also quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying Russian radars "registered the launch of missiles from a French frigate in the Mediterranean on the evening of September 17".

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Colonel Patrik Steiger said: "We deny any involvement".

The official claimed the regime was trying to stop Israeli missiles.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Cmdr. A source told Sputnik that there were drones and missiles involved.

However, a USA official with knowledge of the attack, dismissed Russia's claims and told CNN the maritime patrol aircraft was actually inadvertently shot down by the Syrian regime.

The Hmeimim base is where the bulk of Russia's armed forces in Syria are housed.

The zone will be established by October 15 and be 15-20 kilometres deep, with troops from Russian Federation and NATO-member Turkey conducting coordinated patrols, President Vladimir Putin said at the end of a more than three-hour meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi. The Observatory said at the time that the September 4 attacks were believed aimed at Iranian military posts.

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, President Putin said.

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