Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Syria mistakenly downs Russian plane as it repels alleged Israeli strike

Syria mistakenly downs Russian plane as it repels alleged Israeli strike

Around the time the plane disappeared, the Syrian coastal city of Latakia - near the Russian airbase to which the Il-20 was returning - came under attack from "enemy missiles", and missile defence batteries responded, Syrian state media reported.

The deal marked a significant agreement between the two leaders and effectively delays an offensive by Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies, one that Turkey fears would create a humanitarian crisis near its border.

SANA news agency reported the Technical Industry Institution in the state-controlled city of Latakia had been targeted.

However, a USA official with knowledge of the attack, dismissed Russia's claims and told CNN the maritime patrol aircraft was actually inadvertently shot down by the Syrian regime.

Missiles were fired from the sea at several locations in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia on Monday but were intercepted by air defences, Syrian state media said.

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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.

Moscow's RT network reported that Russian military forces had registered the launch of missiles from a French frigate in the Mediterranean around around the time the plane lost contact.

The sources also claimed the country's air defenses shot down a number of incoming missiles.

The strikes followed a similar attack on Damascus International Airport late Saturday, which Syrian state media also blamed on Israel. An unidentified military official was quoted as saying Syrian air defenses intercepted some missiles heading for the provincial capital of Latakia from the sea. It was unclear if Syrian government or Iranian forces were at the facility.

Israel does not regularly comment on alleged strikes in Syria.

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Footage shared by Syrian state TV claims to show Syrian forces firing missiles from Lattakia.

The source of the missiles was not immediately clear.

There has been no comment from the Israeli government about the night's attacks in Syria, which is standard policy regarding military action outside Israel.

A U.S. official has said the Russian jet was shot down by mistake by Syria's forces.

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