Russia’s Il-20 military aircraft disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea - Defense Ministry

18 September, 2018, 11:24 | Author: Wade Massey

The fate of the military personnel is 'unknown, ' the ministry said in a statement which was carried by Russian news agencies.

At around the same time, Syrian state media SANA reported that government air defenses had "intercepted hostile missiles coming from the sea into Latakia city".

The war monitoring group said the target appeared to be an ammunition depot that in the compound of the state Institute for Technical Industries.

An Israeli military spokesperson when asked about both the reported Israeli strike and the Russian plane said: "We don't comment on foreign reports". State media said the explosions were suspected to have been caused by Israeli strikes.

But there were reports that Russian air defense systems were involved in shooting down the missiles fired at Latakia.

They added that it was not immediately known who fired the missiles.

A Syrian facility linked to the country's chemical weapons program was bombed on Monday night, triggering Syrian air defenses, state media reported.

But a French army spokesman pushed back, saying: "The French army denies any involvement in this attack".

Earlier this month, an Israeli military official said the Jewish state has struck over 200 Iranian targets in Syria over the past 18 months.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Cmdr.

The aircraft disappeared over Syria's Mediterranean Sea coast
GOOGLE MAPS The aircraft disappeared over Syria's Mediterranean Sea coast

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

An unnamed U.S. source has a different theory on the attack, telling CNN that the Russian plane was "inadvertently shot down" by Syrian government anti-aircraft artillery trying to stop the barrage of Israeli missiles.

Russia's military operation in Syria, which began in late 2015, has turned the tide of the conflict in favour of Moscow's ally, Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad, in his fight against rebels and opposition forces.

Almost half an hour later, it said the strikes continued.

Hotlines are in place for those countries to share operational information on their deployments, but diplomats and military planners say there is still a high risk of one state inadvertently striking another country's forces.

This would entail a "withdrawal of all radical fighters" from Idlib including the Al Nusra Front and also the withdrawal of heavy weaponry including tanks, multiple launch rocket systems, President Putin said.

Russia-backed forces of the Syrian regime have massed around Idlib province in recent weeks, sparking fears of an imminent air and ground attack to retake the last major opposition bastion.

Russian Federation and the Syrian regime have previously boasted about their air defense capabilities.

Russian Federation also announced it had lost contact with an IL-20 aircraft carrying 14 service members.

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Al-Ikhbariya said all two of the injured were hospitalized and the rest were released after treatment. "The missiles were not fired by the USA military and we have nothing further at this time", he said.


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