Shoigu speaks to Lieberman over downed Il-20

Shoigu speaks to Lieberman over downed Il-20

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke to his Israeli opposite number, Avigdor Lieberman, over the shooting down of a Russian military plane Il-20 near Syrian coast, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

The Russian Defense Ministry's head said that the ministry has repeatedly called on the Israeli side to refrain from attacks on Syrian territory, which threaten the security of Russian servicemen.

Shoigu told Lieberman that Israel is fully responsible for the crash of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft off the coast of Syria and the death of its crew, RIA Novosti reported. 

He stressed that 15 Russian servicemen were killed as a result of the irresponsible actions of Israel's Defense Forces. According to Shoigu, the ministry received a notification via a hotline less than a minute before the strike, which did not allow the Russian aircraft to be directed to a safe zone.

Israel's government has not commented.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Il-20 aircraft had been accidentally downed by Syrian air defenses as the Israeli F-16 jets had been using it as a cover. The ministry added that it considered such actions by Israel to be hostile and reserved the right to take retaliatory steps. Fifteen Russian servicemen were killed as a result of the attack.

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