Russia summons Israel envoy after plane downed in Syria

Israeli ambassador summoned, Russian defense minister threatens response, after Israel blamed for downing of Russian plane.

AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff ,

 Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu
Flash90

Russia on Tuesday summoned the Israeli ambassador to Moscow following the downing of a Russian plane over Syria which the Russian defense ministry has blamed on the Israeli air force.

"The Israeli ambassador has been summoned to the foreign ministry over the situation," a representative of the ministry's press service told AFP.

Russia's defense minister warned his Israeli counterpart that Moscow could respond to the downing of a Russian plane over Syria, as he laid "full" blame on Israel's air force.

"The full blame for the shot-down Russian plane and death of the crew is on the Israeli side," Sergei Shoigu told Avigdor Lieberman in a phone call, according to a ministry statement.

Russia has "repeatedly called on Israel to refrain from strikes on Syrian territory which endanger the safety of Russian servicemen," Shoigu added.

"Actions by the Israeli military are not in the spirit of the Russia-Israel partnership and we reserve the right to future response measures," he said.

Russia has launched a search and rescue operation where the plane crashed into the Mediterranean about 27 kilometers (17 miles) west of the coastal town Baniyas in Latakia province.

Some remains of the crew members and plane debris have been picked up by the Russian navy, the ministry said.

The incident which killed 15 Russian servicemen happened just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to establish a demilitarized zone around rebel hub Idlib in order to stave off a military assault.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists Tuesday that the plane's downing will not have any impact on the agreement.

In the meantime, Israel is maintaining ambiguity and is not addressing Moscow's unprecedented claims against IDF activity.

MK Yoav Kish (Likud), a fighter pilot in the reserves, said that “The Russian attempt to define Israel as responsible for the downing of the Russian plane must be opposed. The only responsible cause is the one who pressed the button to launch the missile which downed the plane.”



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