MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. Moscow views Israeli steps, which led to the downing of Russian military jet Il-20 over the Mediterranean Sea, as hostile and reserves the right to retaliate, Defense Ministry Spokesman Maj.-Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.
"We view these provocative steps by Israel as hostile. Due to the Israeli military’s irresponsible actions 15 Russian servicemen were killed. This is absolutely against the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership," Konashenkov said.
"We reserve the right to take adequate tit-for-tat steps," he stressed.
The general said a search and rescue operation was underway near the Il-20 jet’s crash site.
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 over Syria’s Mediterranean Sea coast that was returning to the Hmeymim airbase. The ministry said that the Il-20 jet vanished off the radars during the attack of four Israeli F-16 planes on Syrian facilities in the Latakia Governorate.