IAF in report to Russians: We did not hide behind Russian plane

Israel says shooting down of Russian plane is "tragic," resulted from "use of advanced weapons by irresponsible entities."

Tags: Syria IAF
Arutz Sheva ,

Netanyahu, Putin
Netanyahu, Putin

An IDF delegation, led by the Commander of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, presented the complete IDF After Action Review (AAR) of the downing of the Russian plane by Syrian anti-air fire to senior Russian military officers.

"The AAR was conducted and presented in a thorough, detailed and professional manner," said the IDF in announcement Sunday afternoon. The statement went on to say:

"The comprehensive, accurate and factual details are known to the relevant professionals in the Russian military, and they clearly state that: the deconfliction mechanism operated in the relevant timeframe (as it has been operating over the last two and a half years); the IAF did not hide behind any aircraft and that the Israeli aircraft were in Israeli airspace at the time of the downing of the Russian plane.

"The result of the downing of the Russian plane by Syrian fire is severe and tragic and we convey our condolences to the bereaved families and the Russian People.

"The coordination between the IDF and the Russian military has proven its value numerous times over the last years. The continuation of the coordination is a shared interest in light of the various regional challenges.

"In addition, as we saw during this incident, the use of advanced weapons by irresponsible entities significantly endangers the area and can severely harm forces operating in the region.

"The safety and well-being of the Russian troops who operate in Syria are a focal component in every approval of any activity by senior officials in the IDF and in Israel.

"The IDF will continue to take all necessary measures, as it has been doing until this very day, to achieve this goal.

"The IDF will continue to operate in accordance with the directives of the Israeli Government against Iran’s incessant attempts to establish itself in Syria and to arm the terrorist organization Hezbollah with lethal and accurate weapons."

Russia earlier blamed Israel for the downing of the military plane last week. Moscow accused Israel of deliberately misleading it and disputed Israel’s version of events that killed the 15 Russian soldiers on board the plane.

A spokesman for Russia’s Defense Ministry said Sunday that Moscow rejected specific claims presented personally last week by Israel’s Air Force commander that blamed Syria for the event.

At a press conference, defense ministry officials claimed that the Israelis had informed Russia that their target was in northern Syria, but the Israeli warplanes ultimately carried out an attack in Latakia - in western Syria.

"The erroneous information provided did not give the transport plane time to reach a safe place," the Russians claimed, adding that the IAF planes had used the Russian transport plane as a cover for the Syrian missiles.

The reconnaissance Il-20 plane was brought down last week after it was hit by fire from Syrian semi-automated air defense systems, which were defending against Israeli F-16s that had struck Iranian targets in Syria.