MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. The Israeli air forces’ operations in Syria are conducted in violation of that country’s sovereignty, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday during a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following Monday’s incident with a Russian plane that was downed in Syria, killing 15 servicemen.
"Putin pointed to the fact that such operation of the Israeli air forces are conducted in violation of Syria’s sovereignty. In this case, the Russian-Israeli agreements on incident prevention were not observed either. As a result, the Russian plane came under fire from Syrian air defense systems," the Kremlin press service said.
According to the Kremlin press service, the Russian president "called on the Israeli side to avoid such situations."
The Israeli prime minister offered his condolences over the death of 15 Russian servicemen who were onboard the downed Ilyushin Il-20 plane.
"Benjamin Netanyahu promised to provide detailed information on the activities of the Israeli air forces over the Syrian territory on that day for the purposes of meticulous investigation of the tragedy, and the commander of the Israeli air force will bring it to Moscow shortly," the report said.
The conversation was initiated by the Israeli side.
The Russian defense ministry said earlier that a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 plane that was flying back to the airbase at Syria’s Hmeymim crashed over the Mediterranean Sea late on Monday. According to the ministry, four Israeli F-16 fighter jet were delivering airstrikes on Syrian targets in the Latakia governorate at the moment. The ministry said the Russian Il-20 was shot down by Syria’s air defense over the Mediterranean Sea because Israel’s F-16 fighter jets used it as a cover, since the Israeli command centers and the F-16s’ pilots could not but see the Russian plane, which was approaching the runway from an altitude of five kilometers. Fifteen Russian crew members died.