Published on: Sep 24, 2018 @ 18:20 – Russia could take steps to prevent air strikes with Israeli aircraft in the future, with all the resources to shut down Syria’s skies, Russian Senator Franz Klintsevich said on Sunday.
Earlier today, the Russian Ministry of Defense blamed Israel for the overthrow of the Il-20 plane in Syria, which resulted in the death of 15 military personnel, saying their fighters deliberately used the Russian aircraft as a shield against the Syrian anti-aircraft system. According to the Ministry, the actions of Israeli pilots “mean either their lack of professionalism or, at the very least, criminal negligence.”
For Klintsevich, a member of the Defense and Security Committee of the Council of the Russian Federation (upper house of parliament), the data revealed by the Russian Defense leave no doubt that the blame for the incident is from the Israeli side.
The senator believes that the tragedy will not significantly worsen the situation between Moscow and Israel because of the long history of good relations but expressed the certainty that Russia will take some action.
“Our response actions will focus on completely excluding repeat incidents in the future. We, for example, have all the necessary resources that allow us to close the sky over Syria to Israel, which is just one of the options.” the politician.
The senator explained that Russia can put a no-fly zone over Syria. The situation will depend largely on Tel Aviv’s reaction to the Russian Defense Ministry’s report today, Klintsevich finds.
“In this context, I think it is unproductive today’s assertion by Israeli Defense Minister [Avigdor Lieberman] that the attacks on Syria will continue,” he concluded. “This rhetoric may only aggravate the situation.
Hmeymim’s Russian air base in Syria’s Latakia lost contact with an Il-20 Russian military aircraft on Monday night during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets against targets in the Syrian province of Latakia. The Russian plane Il-20, which on board were 15 military personnel, was toppled by an S-200 missile of the Syrian Army, killing all the occupants.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense said the Israeli pilots were protecting themselves with the Russian aircraft, exposing it to the attack.