彩神下载链接官方Israel's Lieberman blames Syria for downing Russian plane

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JERUSALEM, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Thursday that a Russian reconnaissance plane was shot down due to lack of professionalism in Syrian army.

"The plane was shot down by irresponsible and unprofessional Syrian air defense personnel who fired when (our) air force jets had already returned to Israeli territory," Lieberman told Israel's Army Radio.

"I accept Russian President (Vladimir Putin's) words that it was a tragic mistake, but the one responsible for this tragic mistake is (Syrian President Bashar al-) Assad's army," said Lieberman.

His remark came as a delegation led by Israel's Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin was heading to Moscow to present findings from its probe on the accident in an attempt to dissolve a possible diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

Also on Thursday, Russian Embassy in Israel commented on its Twitter account that "Moscow views as irresponsible and unfriendly actions of Israeli Air Force, which exposed Russian Il-20 aircraft to danger and lead to the death of 15 servicemen."

"Russia would take all necessary measures to eliminate threat to life and security of our military fighting against terrorism," it added.

On Monday evening, a Russian military aircraft with 15 Russian personnel onboard was mistakenly downed by a Syrian anti-aircraft fire launched in response to an Israeli airstrike on Iranian target in Syria's Latakia province.

The Russian Defense Ministry said a missile from Syria's S-50 air defense system shot down the Il-20 surveillance plane with Russian servicemen by mistake because an Israeli airstrike took place at the same time, blaming a simultaneous Israeli strike as the cause of the mistake.

Israel has carried out some 50 airstrikes over the last 18 months, claiming that the attacks aimed to prevent Iranian weapons convoys and stop Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria.