Russia says blame of Il-20 tragedy ‘lies entirely’ with Israeli regime

TEHRAN, Sep. 23 (MNA) – Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov provided further detail of Il-20 incident and put the blame ‘entirely’ on Israel regime for the tragedy.

The Israeli regime's Air Force misled the Russian side by providing wrong information about the area of the planned air strikes in Syria on September 17, thus preventing the Russian Il-20 from moving to a safe zone, he said on Sunday.

"The presented objective data testifies that the actions of the Israeli fighter pilots, which led to the loss of life of 15 Russian servicemen, either lacked professionalism or were an act of criminal negligence to say the least. Therefore, we believe that the blame for the tragedy with the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft lies entirely with the Israeli air forces and those who made the decision to carry out such actions," Sputnik quoted Konashenkov as saying.

"Thus, the Israeli jets created a direct threat to any passenger or transport aircraft that could have been there at that time and could have become victims of the adventurism of the Israeli military," Konashenkov added.

The Il-20 vanished from radar screens over the Mediterranean Sea on September 17 after being hit by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile near the Hmeymim air base, which coincided with airstrikes by Israeli regime’s F-16s on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia. Shortly after the incident, the Russian Defense Ministry accused the Israeli regime’s Air Force of using the Russian plane as a shield against Syrian air defenses. The regime insisted that Syria was responsible for the tragic incident.

SPUTNIK/MNA

News Code 137989

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