Russia lost a connection with one of its military planes in Syria. The IL-20 aircraft reportedly was accidentally shot down by Syrian force, said Russian news agency TASS.
The Russian media reported that the trace of the Il-20 on flight control radars disappeared during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets in vicinities of Khmeimim Airbase in Syria. At the same time, Russian air control radar systems detected rocket launches from the French frigate Auvergne which was located in that region.
An Israeli military spokeswoman, when asked about both the reported Israeli strike and the Russian plane, said: “We don’t comment on foreign reports,” her French counterpart said the same: “The French army denies any involvement in this attack.” However, at time of plane’s crush, the Russian air control radar systems detected rocket launches from the French frigate Auvergne which was located in that region.
The Russian Ministry of Defence has started the investigation and the rescue operation. The tragical incident could result in the death of its 14 passengers whose fate is still unknown. The Russian MoD confirmed that a rescue operation has been organised out of the Hmeymim base.
In 2015, Russia’s military operation started in Syria, and such a powerful support has turned the tide of the conflict in favour of Kremlin’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in his fight against rebels.