JERUSALEM, November 5. /TASS/. Israel and Russia constantly contact on Syria through the deconfliction mechanism and their dialogue was not interrupted after the Il-20 aircraft crash, Israeli Deputy Director General for Media and Public Affairs Naom Katz told Russian reporters on Monday.
"Russia is a friend of Israel, we have good friendly relations," Katz said. "Russia has a substantial presence in Syria, that’s a fact." "We are constantly cooperating through deconfliction channels," the diplomat stressed.
On September 17, Russia’s Il-20 aircraft was accidently downed by Syrian air defenses over the Mediterranean Sea when it was returning to the Hmeymim airbase. Russian top brass said a missile from Syria’s S-200 system downed the aircraft when it targeted four Israeli F-16 fighter jets, which attacked facilities in Latakia. All 15 Russian crew members were killed in the tragedy. The Israeli Air Force and those who made the decision to use the Il-20 aircraft as cover are solely to blame for its crash, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.