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Israel's 'Unprofessional' Actions Reason for Russia's Il-20 Plane Crash - Moscow

© REUTERS / Sergey PivovarovA Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft (File)
A Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft (File) - Sputnik International
ROME (Sputnik) - Israel's "erroneous, unprofessional and cowardly" actions led to the crash of a Russian Il-20 plane near Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"The tragedy occurred on September 17 following erroneous, unprofessional and cowardly actions of one of our partners, despite Russia's efforts to develop the relationship with Israel, including when it comes to the issues that are important for them," Zakharova told the Italian Panorama magazine.

At the same time, the spokeswoman also pointed at the positive changes that took place in Syria, such as the defeat of the majority of terrorist groups operating in the Middle Eastern country.

READ MORE: Israeli-Russian Contacts Via Secure Channels Unaffected by Il-20 Crash —Minister

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this week that he had agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin that military delegations of the two countries would meet soon to discuss coordination in Syria.

The Russian military jet Il-20 was downed on September 17 over the Mediterranean Sea by a missile launched by Syria's S-200 air defense system that was targeting Israeli aircraft. The Russian Defense Ministry said Israeli F-16 jets flying in the vicinity used the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defenses. The incident claimed the lives of 15 Russian servicemen.

Israel has refuted the accusations of its aircraft using the Russian plane as a shield and maintains that Moscow was warned about the air raid in a timely manner.

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