Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Kremlin Chilly to Syrian Condolences for Deadly Plane Downing

Kremlin Chilly to Syrian Condolences for Deadly Plane Downing

Earlier, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sent a letter of condolences to Putin over the deaths of Russian servicemen, saying the incident can not undermine the resolve of Moscow and Damascus to fight the terrorists.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered to share data with Russian Federation on what was happening in the sky over Syria that day and dispatched the Israeli air force chief to Moscow.

"Moscow views as irresponsible and unfriendly actions of Israeli Air Force, which exposed Russian Il-20 aircraft to danger and lead to death of 15 servicemen".

Netanyahu "offered to send the Israeli Air Force commander to Moscow to deliver all the necessary details" for the investigation, the statement said.

"It may be that after the tragic loss of life and the downed plane, Russia-Israel relations will grow thicker", Dmitri Trenin, head of the Moscow Carnegie Center, said on Twitter.

Russia would investigate the incident, Putin said, and boost security for Russian troops in Syria.

Israel has struck targets in both Lebanon and Syria, seeking to thwart Hizballah's ambitions.

Putin said that, at Erdogan's suggestion, by October 10, all opposition heavy weapons, mortars, tanks, rocket systems would also be removed from the demilitarised zone. Russian Federation says that its IL-20 spy plane with 15 servicemen aboard lost contact with radar near Khmeimim air base near Latakia.

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In a televised speech on Wednesday night, Hassan Nasrallah rejected Israel's assertion that it had attacked the military facility in Latakia to prevent the transfer on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah of systems to manufacture accurate weapons.

The Turkish military, he said, had "deliberately downed" the Russian plane, while the Latakia incident "looks like a chain of tragic circumstances, because the Israeli plane didn't shoot down our jet".

Israel denied the allegations, saying its jets were already back in its airspace when Syrian forces launched the missiles that hit the Russian plane.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Thursday accused Israeli pilots of "unprofessionalism" and said that Russia still needs to hear more "explanations from Israel".

Hezbollah has provided vital support to Syria's military in the seven-year war, helping it regain swathes of the country.

Russian Federation added that Israel, which according to its own admission conducted hundreds of air raids in Syrian over the past year or so, didn't warn Russian Federation of any operation in the region.

The Syrian opposition in the rebel-held enclave of Idlib will stay in the same areas they are in now as part of an agreement signed between Turkey and Russia, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Tuesday.

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