Russian Federation asks for Israel's explanation on plane downing

Israel hits out at Iran after Syria friendly fire incident

"There have been no changes to the deconfliction mechanism as a result of this unfortunate event", the military official said on condition of anonymity, referring to Monday's downing following Israeli air strikes.

The president's comments came just hours after a senior Israeli air force delegation briefed their Russian counterparts on the findings of their probe into the loss of the aircraft by Syrian anti-aircraft fire during an Israeli airstrike on the coastal city of Latakia. The incident threatened to derail the close security ties between Russian Federation and Israel. Putin held a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"I told him that the root of the problem is Iran's attempt to use Syrian territory for attacks against Israel and to arm our enemies, such as Hezbollah".

The Russian military had originally accused Israeli pilots of using "the Russian plane as a cover, exposing it to fire from Syrian air defenses", saying they reserved the right to respond.

Israeli officials, fearful of losing the close defense cooperation with the Russians that have allowed the IDF to operate over Syria against Iranian and Iran-linked forces, launched a full diplomatic push.

On the same day, the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv lashed out at Israel for its "irresponsible and unfriendly actions", and pinned the blame on Israel's Air Force, which was conducting aerial assaults against Syrian army positions when the incident happened.

According to the ministry, Israel indirectly caused the incident because at the time of the incident it was attacking targets within Syria and gave Russian Federation a one minute warning.

More than 20 Syrian anti-aircraft missiles were fired during the incident, the official said.

Norkin's delegation was expected to remain in Moscow, continuing to meet with Russian officials, until Friday morning.

After initially accusing Israel over the deadly friendly-fire incident, Putin later told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call that it was the result of "tragic accidental circumstances".

There was no other comment from Moscow on the meetings, but earlier the Russian foreign ministry demanded "further inquiries and explanations from Israel" about the downing of the plane, according to the Russian Interfax agency.

It also said "new information" on the incident would "emerge soon", without elaborating. Gen. Amikam Norkin, held several meetings in Moscow with their Russian counterparts.

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