A weekend report said that Russian officers were on hand when Syria downed a Turkish plane that had entered Syrian airspace ten days ago. The report, in the London Sunday Times, is based on diplomatic sources. The sources said that the downing of the plane was deliberate, and was sent as a warning to NATO and Western countries not to attempt to intervene in Syria.
Russia supplied Syria with the defense system that detected the plane's entry into Syrian airspace, and Russian supervisors have been active in helping the Syrians run it since it was installed. The report quoted an Israeli defense official as saying that “we would not be surprised if the Russian experts had been at least present when the Syrian officers did this, even if they did not themselves press the button.”