Israel rejects Russian claims: ‘IAF did not hide behind any plane‘

A delegation of IAF officials lead by Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. presented the full Israeli inquiry into the details of the incident in which the Russian Ilyushin-20 was shot down in Syria, IDF spokesperson stated on Sunday evening. 

The IDF rejected the Russian claims Israel is to be blamed for the downing of the Russian plane or that IAF pilots used the Russian plane as cover during their mission. 

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"The IAF did not hide behind any plane and Israeli fighter jets were in Israeli airspace when the Syrians attacked the Russian plane," the statement read.

Calling for the continuation of the current coordination mechanism between the IDF and the Russian military "a common interest when facing the different challenges in the region" the statement also states that "providing irresponsible parties with advance weapon systems is a danger to the region."

Calling the incident "tragic and hard" the statement states Israel "shares the grief of the Russian families and the Russian people."

"The safety and well being of the Russian forces stationed in Syria is…a Meaningful consideration when each strike is approved," stated the IDF spokesperson unit.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov earlier stated that: "We believe that the blame for the tragedy of the Russian Ilyushin-20 lies entirely with the Israeli air force and those who made the decision to carry out such actions."

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Israel has placed the blame for the incident squarely on the Syrian regime which shot Russian-made anti-aircraft battery during the Israeli airstrike last Monday night.

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