PARIS, September 18. /TASS/. France’s Ministry of the Armed Forces has stated that the French army has no relation to the incident with Russia’s Il-20 plane that disappeared from radar screens near the Syrian shore overnight into Tuesday, while the Israeli army was carrying out strikes on Syrian territory, the France Soir newspaper reported, citing a defense source.
"The French armed forces deny their involvement in this attack," the defense representative noted.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on September 17 at about 23:00 Moscow time (GMT + 3) contact was lost with the crew of a Russian Il-20 plane that was returning to the Hmeymim airbase above the Mediterranean Sea, 35 km off the Syrian coast. The ministry specified that "the Il-20 disappeared from the air traffic control radars during the attack of four Israeli F-16 planes on Syrian facilities in the Latakia Governorate."
The Russian air traffic control radar systems also registered the launches of missiles out of the French frigate Auvergne that was in the specified region at the time.