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

20 September, 2018, 10:58 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • The Latest: Russia says Syrian missile brought down aircraft

Putin said he had signed off on the defence ministry statement.

Israeli air strikes that caused a brief military spat with Russian Federation late Monday completely destroyed an ammunition storage depot near the Syrian city of Latakia, new satellite images reveal.

Netanyahu has repeatedly warned that Israel will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence in Syria for that reason.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced Wednesday that his group will stay in Syria "until further notice", as he noted that "a lot" of Israeli airstrikes in Syria were not targeted against weapons shipments for Hizbullah.

Russia's Defense Ministry held Israel responsible for the incident, saying the regime's warplanes "created a unsafe situation" that led to the downing of the Russian aircraft by Syria's S-200 missile defense system.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed the matter with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday, warning that Moscow could retaliate with unspecified "measures". The Russian defense ministry initially blamed Israel, saying the IAF jets used the Russian plane as cover.

He also pledged to beef up security for Russian forces in Syria, which three years ago stepped in to support Assad whose grip on power had been weakened by rebels and jihadist fighters.

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Though the Russian military condemned " these provocative actions by Israel as hostile" and said it reserves "the right to an adequate response", President Putin described the loss of the plane as a likely "chain of tragic accidental circumstances", rather than a deliberate provocation.

As the war in Syria rages on, Turkey and Russian Federation announced on Monday a joint agreement that will at least forestall an expected large-scale on Syria's Idlib province, now the last area controlled by rebel military factions facing off against the Syrian government.

In a Tuesday phone call to Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was ready to provide Moscow with all relevant information regarding the incident, according to a statement issued by Netanyahu's office. "Sometimes they do hit places that are connected to weapons - that they know of - but numerous attacks are not related to that at all", he said.

The Syrian leader also offered his nation's "deep condolences" on the "martyrdom of the Russian heroes who were doing their noble duties along with their colleagues of the Russian military forces in the fight against terrorism in Syria".

This week's incident in Syrian airspace, and the Russian reaction to it, are genuine causes for concern that demand from Israel caution and wisdom in both its military and diplomatic conduct.

SANA added that "the regrettable incident was a result of the Israeli usual revelry which always uses the dirtiest means to achieve its low purposes and carry out its aggression in our region".

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