No Israeli role in downing of Russian plane: Netanyahu

By Monitoring Desk
Tuesday – September 25, 2018
MOSCOW (Russia): In a telephone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin, on Monday, Israeli prime minister (PM) Benjamin Netanyahu clarified the circumstances of the incident considering that the information presented by the Israeli military on the operation of their aircraft over Syrian territory differs from the conclusions of the Russian defence ministry.

According to official statements, the Israeli PM again expressed his condolences over the loss of military service members on board the Russian Il-20 aircraft that was downed on September 17 in Syria.

Netanyahu grieved that Russia proceeds from the premise that the actions of the Israeli air force (IAF) were the main cause of the tragedy.

Putin responded that Russia’s decisions to bolster the combat capabilities of Syrian air defences are appropriate at this juncture and primarily intended to thwart any potential threat to the lives of the Russian military service members fulfilling the tasks of combatting international terrorism.

Meanwhile, in another telephone conversation with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, on Monday, the Syrian president once again expressed his most sincere condolences on the loss of 15 Russian military personnel who were on board Il-20 shot down on September 17 in Syria.

Putin informed his Syrian counterpart about his decision to introduce additional measures in order to ensure the security of Russian military personnel in Syria and to improve Syria’s air defence system, including by handing over a modern S-300 missile system.

The two presidents noted their readiness for further joint efforts to achieve a long-term peace in Syria, and restore its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, specifically, in view of the outcome of the trilateral meeting of the heads of state, guarantors of the Astana process, in Teheran and the recent Russian-Turkish summit in Sochi.

Putin and Assad also discussed promoting the political process with respect to forming the constitutional committee in Geneva and launching its work. It was agreed to continue contacts at various levels.