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Netanyahu regrets death of Russian troops in Syria
September 18, 2018, 6:32 pm

Netanyahu and Putin, who have met several times this year and enjoy good relations, spoke on the phone to diffuse tensions after the downing of the Russian military aircraft [PPIO]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he regretted the deaths of 15 Russian soldiers aboard a downed IL-20 military surveillance plane but blamed the Syrians for shooting it down over the port town of Latakia.

During a phone call between the two leaders a day after the incident, Netanyahu promised Putin that Israel would cooperate in an investigation over the matter, and offered to dispatch the head of the Israeli air force to Moscow.

The Russian military on Tuesday squarely blamed Israel for the downing of the Russian surveillance plane.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that Israel launched air raids over Syrian territory when it knew that the Russian plane would be near Syrian airspace.

The Russian plane was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft defense systems.

Shoigu spoke to his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman on the phone and said: “The actions of the Israeli military were not in keeping with the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership, so we reserve the right to respond.”

The shooting down of the Russian military aircraft comes a day after Syrian military sources said that they shot down a number of Israeli missiles fired into their territory.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the Israeli ambassador in Moscow and informed him that Israeli military action in and around Syria was “reckless”.

Israel said that it “expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members” of the Russian plane.

However, blamed the government of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad as well as Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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