Thursday 13 December 2018

Vladimir Putin in warning to Israel after Russian military plane downed by Syria

Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed sorrow over the incident.

Vladimir Putin speaks to the media (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)
Vladimir Putin speaks to the media (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has warned Israel against conducting air raids on Syria like the one that led to the downing of a Russian warplane by Syrian air defence missile, killing all 15 aboard.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Mr Putin to express sorrow over the plane’s loss, but insisted Syria bears responsibility for the downing of the Il-20 electronic intelligence plane.

The Kremlin said Mr Putin emphasised that the Israeli attack violated Syria’s sovereignty and also breached the Russian-Israeli agreements on avoiding clashes in Syria.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Sebastian Scheiner/PA)

The Russian leader urged Mr Netanyahu “not to allow such situations in the future”.

Mr Netanyahu also offered to dispatch the Israeli air force chief to Moscow to share details and noted the importance of the continuation of security coordination between Israel and Russia.

The UN special envoy for Syria called on Russia, Syria and Israel “to refrain from military actions” following the downing of the aircraft.

Staffan de Mistura told the UN Security Council at the start of a meeting on Syria that new military action “would only exacerbate an already complex situation”.

He expressed concern at “worrying military activities” just as a potential major military offensive in the last major rebel stronghold in Idlib was averted following an agreement on Monday between Mr Putin and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr De Mistura noted the differing statements by Russia, Syria and Israel about the downing of a Russian reconnaissance aircraft by Syria government anti-aircraft fire which killed all 15 people on board.

Press Association

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