Putin Says Israel Not Guilty of Plane Downing in Syria, Calls Incident 'Accidental'

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that "tragic accidental circumstances" led to the downing by Syria of a Russian warplane with 15 people on board.

"It rather looks like a chain of tragic accidental circumstances," Putin told reporters, rejecting any comparisons with the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey in 2015.

"An Israeli jet did not shoot down our plane," Putin said. 

The Russian defense ministry earlier Tuesday blamed Israel for the accident and warned of reprisals.

Putin said he had signed off on the defense ministry statement.

"No doubt we should seriously look into this," Putin said, speaking at a news conference after talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Moscow would beef up security for Russian military personnel in Syria as a priority response, Putin said.

"These will be the steps that everyone will notice," he said, without providing further details.

He expressed condolences to the families of the victims, calling the accident a "tragedy for us all."

Late Monday Syria accidentally shot down the Russian plane,  killing all 15 crew members, when its air defenses swung into action against an Israeli strike.

The incident was the worst case of friendly fire between the two allies since Russia's game-changing military intervention in September 2015.

The Russian plane was downed by a Russian-made S-200 air defense supplied to Syria.

The Russian Ilyushin dropped off the radar over the Mediterranean soon after Turkey and Russia announced a deal that offered millions of people reprieve from a threatened military assault in northern Syria.

Comments 11
Thumb chrisrushlau 18 September 2018, 17:26

Al Jazeera says the Israeli jets used the reconnaissance aircraft as cover, to try to confuse Syrian air defenses.

Thumb justice 18 September 2018, 17:29

sure and Al Jazeera has aeronautical engineers and satellite experts on staff ready to give comments on aerial battles.

Thumb galaxy 18 September 2018, 17:31

ironic how al jazeera suddenly becomes the heretics go to source for fake news.

Thumb eagledawn 18 September 2018, 17:52

"Laugh out loud!" Aka, LOL.
Say it again, 'Chris'!

Thumb justin 18 September 2018, 18:05

'chris', are you still for abolition of article 24 of the Lebanese constitution?

Thumb eagledawn 18 September 2018, 17:54

"The Russian plane was downed by a Russian-made S-200 air defense supplied to Syria."

Karma is.....

Thumb ice-man 18 September 2018, 18:18

I haven't stopped crying since the news broke of the tragic death of 15 Russian soldiers on a peace mission in Syria. I have been having nightmares thinking how they met their horrible deaths: did they die instantly upon impact of the russian made missile? were they gasping for air as their plane plunged into the blue cold waters of the Mediterranean? did they lose their limbs or were they burned to cinders?

Many questions remain unanswered.......

Thumb janoubi 18 September 2018, 18:31

He won't find much sympathy among the millions of syrians he made refugees and the families of the hundreds of thousands he murdered.

Thumb tric.portugal 18 September 2018, 18:41

Israel atacked the Russian Cristhian Militar Base in Síria !!!...with Macron...

Thumb gigahabib 19 September 2018, 12:37

S400 is the answer.

Thumb whyaskwhy 19 September 2018, 16:17

No Giga, education is the real answer to get the youth like you thinking about humanity instead of hatred & destruction. Not even 10,000 S400's would make any difference to the areas advancement and prosperity. Start thinking outside the box and not what a bearded goat would hate preach for a minute and you would be a lot better off.