Syria's Idlib spared attack, Turkey to send in more troops

Pauline Gross
September 23, 2018

Fifteen Russian servicemen were killed during the incident, but officials in Moscow and Tel Aviv moved quickly to defuse tensions even though the Russian Ministry of Defense initially responded with fury against the Israelis.

"We view the actions of the Israeli military as hostile", Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian state television. "During the strike against the target in Latakia, the Russian plane that was then hit was not within the area of the operation".

The Israeli military said its jets had targeted a Syrian site that was in the process of transferring weapons to Iran-backed Hizballah militants. It pointedly accused the Israeli military of deliberately using the Russian plane as cover.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that some 7,000 people have returned to their towns and villages since Monday when Russian Federation and Turkey announced the deal.

He claimed Israeli strikes in Syria to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring precise missiles were ineffective.

The Russian turboprop plane was returning to the Russian-run Hmeymim airbase, when it went off the radar screens in the midst of an attack by four Israeli F-16 fighter jets against Syrian defense industry facilities in Latakia.

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The bishop has not been charged, but has given interviews denying wrongdoing and saying he wanted to defend his name. Police in India are now investigating the charges of rape, illegal confinement, unnatural sex and intimidation.

Syria's armed opposition said the Idlib arrangement is a victory for its resistance and will improve its standing after crushing military defeats in recent months elsewhere in the country.

The downing of the Russian plane illustrated the difficulties in operating over the crowded battle space Syria's skies have become, an area where pro-government air power, including Syrian and Russian warplanes as well as Iranian drones, contend with aircraft from a US -led coalition along with the occasional Israeli or Turkish incursion.

Israel established a de-confliction agreement with Russian Federation several years ago to enable Israel to hit Iranian targets inside Syria without colliding with Russian Federation. They started their target run at a low altitude from the Mediterranean Sea.

However, he insisted the Russian plane had been felled by "extensive and inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft (fire)". One of those missiles struck a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance plane, killing all 15 crew members on board.

The Syrian blunder came hot on the heels of a major deal announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan after talks in Sochi. President Putin explained that Turkey shot down the Jet but Israel didn't and a chain of tragic events took place that led to the downing. All that is known for now, according to the statements issued by Putin and Erdogan, is that the demilitarized zone is to be established by October 15 along a horseshoe-shaped line roughly corresponding to the borders of Idlib province.

Other reports by GizPress

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