IDF: Assad regime, Iran and Hezbollah responsible for downed Russian plane
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis addressed the downing of the Russian plane in Syria on Tuesday after Moscow accused Israel of a hostile provocation and threatened to respond.
“Israel expresses its regret over the death of the crew members of the Russian plane that was downed tonight due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire,” read the statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
“Israel holds the Assad regime, whose military shot down the Russian plane fully responsible for this incident. Israel also holds Iran and the Hezbollah terror organization accountable for this unfortunate incident.”
In a rare move, Manelis confirmed that the IDF attacked an arms shipment in a Syrian military facility, which was supposed to be transferred to Hezbollah and the Quds Force.
“These weapons were meant to attack Israel and posed an intolerable threat against it,” Manelis said.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Israeli F-16 jets carrying out air strikes used the Russian plane as a cover to approach their targets on the ground without being hit by Syrian anti-aircraft fire.
“The Syrian anti-aircraft batteries fired indiscriminately and from what we understand, did not bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air. The extensive and inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft missile fire caused the Russian plane to be hit,” Manelis said.