Russia wants Israeli investigation of aircraft incident

The Russian Foreign Ministry has asked Israel to open another investigation into the events on Monday night when a Russian surveillance aircraft was shot down by Syrian air defence missiles.

Israeli Air Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin met his Russian counterpart in Moscow yesterday to share the results of an IDF inquiry into the incident. Norkin presented satellite photographs and other intelligence showing that Syrian anti-aircraft missiles were fired after Israeli planes were back in Israeli airspace. “The meetings were held in good spirit, and there was professional, open and transparent dialogue on various issues and an emphasis was put on the importance of the two nations’ interests and the continuation of the de-confliction mechanism,” the IDF said.

According to the Interfax news agency, Russia wants “further inquiries and explanations” from Israel. Russia is also increasing its military activity in the eastern Mediterranean Sea after it began a week-long large-scale naval exercise near the Syrian coast. As a result, Russia closed off some of Cyprus’ airspace.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday 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”. He also said he sent Norkin to Moscow to underline “the great importance to maintaining the security coordination between Israel and Russia”.