Israel showed Russian Federation proof Syria to blame for downed plane: Israeli military

Israel hits out at Iran after Syria friendly fire incident

"Moscow views as irresponsible and unfriendly actions of Israeli Air Force, which exposed Russian Il-20 aircraft to danger and lead to death of 15 servicemen", the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv wrote in a scathing statement on its Twitter account on Thursday. "The IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) will continue to implement our strategic interests", the official said.

"There have been no changes to the de-confliction mechanism as a result of this unfortunate event", he said.

Anti-aircraft missiles fired for more than half an hour, even after the attack was over, the Israelis reportedly told their Russian counterparts.

It also risked harming relations between Israel and Russian Federation, which established a hotline three years ago to avoid accidental clashes in Syria, but the leaders of both countries have since sought to move past the incident.

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. Gen. Amikam Norkin, to Moscow to share with their Russian counterparts the IDF's initial findings, which the army said showed Syria, not Israel, was responsible for the downing of the plane.

The Russian military made no comment after Thursday's meetings with the Israeli delegation.

Any dispute between Israel and Russian Federation could lessen Israel's ability to carry out air strikes inside Syria against what it regards as the greatest threat to Israel's security from the country's civil war - build-ups of Iranian forces or those of Iran's Shi'ite ally, Hezbollah.

But the Israeli delegation returned from Moscow Friday morning, contradicting the Al Mayadeen report.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 11, 2018. "Our impression is that the discussions were professional and that the information was well accepted".

However Putin also "reminded" Netanyahu that such operations "violated Syrian sovereignty" and said "agreements around the prevention of risky incidents were not observed".

"We proved how the Syrian reckless anti-air fire was the direct cause of hitting the Russian aircraft", said the military official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Initially the incident appeared likely to cause friction between Israel and Russian Federation, with the Defence Ministry in Moscow accusing Israel of indirectly causing it.

But the Israeli official said: "We definitely gave a warning, a time much longer than one minute".

The target of the Israeli strike was an ammunition facility that Israel said held weapons set to be transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

It also said "new information" on the incident would "emerge soon", without elaborating.

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