Russian military plane with 14 aboard ‘accidentally shot down by Syria’

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with US President Donald Trump

Russian state media reported that the IL-20 plane with 14 servicemen aboard "disappeared" on Monday over the Mediterranean, near the Hmeimim airbase in Syria.

"The French army denies any involvement in this attack", a French army spokesperson said.

The defence ministry in Moscow said the aircraft was returning to the Russian-run Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province when, at about 11:00 p.m. Moscow time (20:00 GMT) on Monday, it disappeared from radar screens.

A search and rescue mission is underway, the report added.

In an attempt to strike back against the Israelis, the Syrians launched extensive anti-aircraft fire, the official said and the Russian aircraft was hit. The plane's SLAR (Side-Looking Airborne Radar) and its satellite link allow the Russian military to monitor Syrian skies in real time.

The military said the plane disappeared as four Israeli fighter jets were attacking targets in the area.

"At the same time Russian air control radar systems detected rocket launches from the French frigate Auvergne which was located in that region", Russia's Tass news agency reports.

Syrian state media said earlier on Monday missiles were fired from the sea at several locations in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, but were intercepted by air defenses.

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During the more than seven-year conflict in neighbouring Syria, Israel has grown deeply alarmed by the expanding clout of Iran, a Syrian government ally.

"This is absolutely contrary to the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership", the statement stressed.

"The missiles were not fired by the USA military and we have nothing further at this time", he said.

According to the Russian defense ministry, the attacks started around 10 pm local time and lasted one hour, targeting a power station as well as two facilities belonging to the Syrian military. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Saturday, just hours after the attack on the Damascus airport, that Israel is enforcing "red lines" in Syria, that include driving Iranian forces out of the country.

Syrian regime pauses Idlib ground offensive.

A Russian plane was accidentally shot down by Syria as Israeli jets were attacking Assad regime targets in the war-torn country, Moscow has admitted.

The Israelis had fired multiple missiles against targets in the coastal area of Latakia where Russian Federation has based much of its military presence, including aircraft.

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