The Israeli fighter F-16 did not hide behind the Russian IL-20 downed by the Syrian air defense systems as at the moment of the strike the aircrafts were in different areas and heights. Haarets newspaper claimed this as Radio Liberty reported.
According to the message in the Israeli report, on September 17, at 21:38, the Israeli military men informed the Russian side on the beginning of the operation in Syria. The F-16 fighters were going to strike the trucks with Iranian hardware for the production of the high precision missiles in Lattakia. At 21:42, they hit the ground targets and at 21:50 the successful attack was confirmed.
According to Israel, the Syrian air defense systems opened fire at 21:52 and one of their missiles hit the Russian IL-20 at 22:05 when F-16 was near Haifa, in other words, in the airspace of its country. The Israel Defense Forces think that the Syrian air defense systems could indicate the presence of the Israeli aircraft in the air by mistake.
Earlier several airstrikes were launched at Syrian port Lattakia. Russian Defence Ministry informed that IL-20 with 14 military servicemen got lost. It supposed to have been back at the Russian base Humaimam, Syria.
Russia accused Israel of this incident as IL-20 was downed over the Mediterranean Sea by Syrian air defense system as Israeli F-16 fighter aircraft hid behind the Russian aircraft. Moreover, Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned Harry Koren, the Israeli Ambassador, due to the crash of Russian IL-20 in Syria.
Later Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed that it possesses the evidence of the guilt of the Israeli Air Force in the downing of the Russia IL-20 on September 17 in Syria.
Reportedly, 13 people died as a result of Russia’s airstrikes at Syrian province Idlib. Later, Russia claimed to be continuing bombardments in Idlib, “if necessary”.