The Russian military said Tuesday that while Syrian air defences shot down the aircraft, Israel was to blame for putting it in the line of fire, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.

The Il-20 electronic reconnaissance aircraft was inadvertently shot down by anti-aircraft artillery operated by the Syrian Government.

“As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian servicemen were killed, which is absolutely not in keeping with the spirit of Russian-Israeli partnership,” said Russian Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defence, according to RIA-Novosti.

“The trace of the Il-20 on flight control radars disappeared during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets on Syrian facilities in Latakia province,” the statement was quoted as saying.

“At the same time Russian air control radar systems detected rocket launches from the French frigate Auvergne which was located in that region.”

The fate of the 14 people on board the missing plane is unknown, and a rescue operation has been organised out of the Hmeymim base, the ministry said.

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Steve M

I’d be more worried about the competence of the Syrian SAM crews than the Israeli’s actions if I were the Russians.

Alex T

So the Russians blame the Israelis for the Syrians having downed one of their aircraft.

After their risible attempts at disinformation and lies in the wake of the Skripal poisonings, and now this, Russia is beginning to resemble something out of Monty Python – or possibly Life of Brian – more each day.

Steve M

Apparantly the Israeli aircraft “forced” the Russians into the AA… why didn’t the Syrians just stop firing? Probably no IFF for starters.

Paul T

Just seen on the news a bit more information,the gist of it is an Israeli attack ‘Lured’ if you like the Russian Il-20 into an area where it was likely to be targeted,read into that what you will.

Daniele Mandelli

I don’t get it? How is it Israels fault if they were launching an operation elsewhere at the time?

Isn’t this just a case of Syrian incompetence?

And just what are they implying with this mention of French Rocket launches?

Steve M

For me the Russian obfuscation of the event has already begun. Something happened where mistakes were made by either the Russians or their Syrian allies (or both) so naturally, they won’t blame themselves so they find someone else. The Israeli’s make a nice scapegoat as it plays nicely with their Iranian friends, adding the French just further piles on the misinformation. I suspect the French did launch some missile, probably hundreds of miles away.

Geoffrey Roach

The problem Danielle is that the Russians are so used to lying because they can never make a mistake that they are beginning to believe their own c…

Mr Bell

Oh dear…seems Syria’s Russian supplied air defence systems cannot even recognise their own aircraft.
The Russian’s are now trying to blame everyone but themselves.
Their IFF systems clearly need an update.
I think the Israelis air force probable did use this aircraft as cover to hit Syria with an air strike, but who can blame the Israelis when Syrian government forces are being supported by Iranian armed Hezbollah fighters.
This is the cost of Russian involvement, Putin should have stayed out of the war and allowed Assads vicious war crime ridden regimen to be defeated.


And lose his Mediterranean Naval and Air bases. While also leaving an ally (evil or not is immaterial) to be defeated. That would have made an alliance with the Russian Federation worthless in future negotiations. Also what would the result have been? Libya? The Congo? No given the circumstances Russia made the only decision available. As for chemical weapons. Never has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt as to which side used them first. What has been proven is the rebels used gas also. As for the videos made by the White Helmets those have been repeatedly shown to be… Read more »

Chris J

Elliott, You should feel embarrassed for yourself.


This is almost as embarrassing for the Russians as their aircraft carrier Kuznetsov trip to Syria lol.

Daniele Mandelli

Not just embarrassing it’s tragic.

Any friendly fire is tragic and people have just died.


Yes this is true.


Besides the obvious, what’s worse is the Russians will now probably fully engage any Israeli (or possibly NATO) strikes with their own AD systems and if the S400 (which despite the hype, has its own problems but is light years ahead of Syrian S200s) is used to fire at or down an aircraft from either then, all bets are off… Not a good scenario. The Russians seem to go from one ADA blunder to another. I’m sure I do not need to list them for the readers of this forum…


Daniele Mandelli

Yes a sobering and worrying thought.

It’s all a bit if a mess really!

andy reeves

if it can get there without breaking down


Oh the irony. Russia supplies weapons and inadequate training to others, who this time shoot down a Russian aircraft. They don’t seem able to learn from past mistakes.


Russian public announcements are basically an Inception meme now, a lie within a lie within a lie etc etc Zzzzzz

Blaring out an old favourite on the European Classic Hits album as well: *when all else fails, blame the Israelis*


I get to watch Putin’s propaganda tv ever day. Not that I want to, but the other half has it on. As has been said, Russians are so used to lying that they actually start to believe what they say.

I see Putin’s now coming out with a sightly different story, i.e. that it was a terrible accident. More like the ineptidude of the Syrians and Russians were 100% to blame.

Having your own plane downed by a missle made by yourself isn’t good for the old Pooty propaganda machine. Someone somewhere will be getting a real dusting down.

P tattersall

Isreal fly in to Iranian airspace regular and have no problems with the S/300/400 they’s useless in reality more russian propaganda ..

P tattersall

How old was that junk rust plane that design of plane first fight 1948 . It’s looking like a 3rd world military effort barrel bombs rusty coal fired carrier gas attacks Ww1 style now old vintage planes shot down


It first flew in 1957 not 1948. I think the one you are on about is a completely different prototype aircraft. And to be fair the US is using an older design than the Il20 in the B52. If it works well and it still serviceable then why replace it? The aircraft itself was not responsible for this incident.


Is it just me or do all the political statements on this feel like a scene from ‘oh what a glorious war’.

Very sad for those directly involved and a reminder of how dangerous the whole situation is.

Daniele Mandelli

Nope, which is why I commented further above on Blue on Blue and that 15 people just fell to their deaths.


Sorry… Didn’t say the situation was… Said some of the political commentary felt like it was… Read some commentary between Israel and Russia that, if I was in the Russian forces would leave me cold.

Daniele Mandelli


P tattersall

Lee 1_Your talking rubbish the B52_is a jet engine bomber with many many updates and very unlikely the yanks will use it again .. Unlike like that old propeller russian scrap .


The plane your talking about is a turboprop MPA aircraft. That wasn’t anticipating being shot at by it’s a incompetent Syrian missile battery commander. Not simply a aging piece of scrap as you put it. The S-200 was designed before IFF came into service. Fighter jets were never it’s intended target, it was meant to shoot down large aircraft such as bombers at high altitude. What made it effective on fighters in Vietnam was the Vietnamese were skilled at hiding them then unmasking and firing before a pilot could maneuver. So what happened here was the Israelis launched a raid… Read more »

P tattersall

Simply russian scrap. Like Russian scrap ships like Russian scrap planes like the mig what crashed yesterday .


I think we should be worried by this Russian playbook. Every region in the world right now is volatile and this suits the Russians.