Ya'alon confirms: Russia crossed into Israeli air

Defense Minister notes that Russian airspace violation was a 'piloting error', stresses cooperation with Moscow over Syria.

Arutz Sheva Staff, | updated: 12:04

Russian Sukhoi Su-25 j fighter jet (file)
Russian Sukhoi Su-25 j fighter jet (file)
Reuters

A Russian warplane recently entered Israeli-controlled airspace from Syria but the intrusion was resolved without incident, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon confirmed Sunday.

Ya'alon's comments come amid deep concern over the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey, which claims it strayed over the Syrian border into its airspace and ignored repeated warnings to change course. Moscow denies the allegations.

"There was a slight intrusion a mile (1.6 kilometers) deep by a Russian plane from Syria into our airspace, but it was immediately resolved and the Russian plane returned towards Syria," Ya'alon told Army Radio. "It was apparently an error by the pilot who was flying near the Golan."

Ya'alon recalled that Israel and Russia had made arrangements to avoid clashes over Syria, with the agreement said to include a "hotline" and information sharing.

He said "Russian planes do not intend to attack us, which is why we must not automatically react and shoot them down when an error occurs."

On Saturday night, Ya'alon's close aide, General (res.) Amos Gilad, stated at a weekly event in Tel Aviv that Russian planes have occasionally crossed into Israeli airspace - but that the very close cooperation between Russia and Israel vis-a-vis operations in and around Syria had prevented any misunderstandings. 

AFP contributed to this report. 




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