Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Russia's defense ministry says it lost contact with plane in Syria

Patty Aguilar | 18 September, 2018, 09:11

Syrian statements have blamed Israel for launching a missile strike.

The state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV reported loud explosions in the coastal Latakia province, saying they were likely from Israeli strikes targeting a state company for technical industries.

Russia's Defence Ministry says it lost contact with the IL-20 aircraft near its Hmeimim Airbase in Syria.

On Sept. 17, 2018, CNN, citing an unnamed US government official, reported that the USA military believed Syrian surface-to-air missiles had brought down the Il-20.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on September 18 that the Il-20 aircraft disappeared from radar at around the same time that Israeli F-16 fighters attacked targets in the Syrian province of Latakia. An unidentified military official was quoted as saying Syrian air defences intercepted some missiles heading for the provincial capital of Latakia from the sea.

Syrian military sources told SANA that the attack came from the direction of the sea and targeted an Organization for Technological Industries center in Latakia. The "Il-20. disappeared during the attack of four Israeli F-16 aircraft on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia".

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The jet vanished from radar just hours after Russian Federation said there would be no assault against Syria's Idlib as the presidents of Russian Federation and Turkey agreed to create a "demilitarised zone" in the rebel-held province.

According to the Russian defense ministry, the attacks started around 10 pm local time and lasted one hour, targeting a power station as well as two facilities belonging to the Syrian military.

During the more than seven-year conflict in neighbouring Syria, Israel has grown deeply alarmed by the expanding clout of Iran, a Syrian government ally. It is unclear if its air defence batteries were also engaged in the defence, or if the aircraft was hit by "friendly fire" from nearby Syrian forces.

Israel rarely acknowledges carrying out specific airstrikes in Syria, but is believed to be behind dozens of attacks on Iranian forces and Hezbollah weapons shipments.

A second USA official told CNN that the incident occurred during an Israeli attack on sites in Syria.

Russian Federation has issued conflicting reports about the source of the missile attack.

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