Shoot-down of Russian IL-20 in Syria

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See also Israel Air Strikes in Syria
17 Sep. 2018

(Noted: Yom Kippur 2018 starts in the evening of 18 September).


  • "Преднамеренная провокация". Что известно о крушении Ил-20 над Средиземным морем -TASS, 18 September, 2018.
    Russian MoD: Israeli jets hiding behind Russian radio-electronic reconnaissance IL-20 plane set it for a strike by Syrian air defense. 14 (other reports, 15) military personnel on board were killed.
    Charge d'Affaires of Israel in Moscow Keren Cohen-Gat arrived on Tuesday at the Russian Foreign Ministry to discuss the situation with the Russian Il-20 aircraft shot down in Syria. Israeli Ambassador Harry Koren is also summoned to the Russian diplomatic mission
    Putin: ...As for your comparison with the well-known events, when our aircraft was shot down by a Turkish fighter, it is still a different situation. Then the Turkish fighter deliberately shot down our plane.Here, rather, it looks like a chain of tragic accidental circumstances, because the Israeli plane did not shoot down our plane. But, of course, we must seriously understand this. And our attitude to this tragedy is set out in the statement of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, which has been fully agreed upon with me.
    • IDF spokesperson: Israel expresses its regret over the death of the crew of the Russian plane that was shot down as a result of Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Israel places full responsibility for the incident on the Assad regime whose army overthrew the Russian plane. Israel also sees Iran and Hezbollah as partners in this unfortunate event. IDF warplanes attacked tonight Syrian military facility were transferred from the production of weapons systems and deadly accurate for Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon. This weapon is designed to attack Israel and constitutes an intolerable threat to her. Between the IDF and the Russian army there is a working mechanism for preventing friction between the leaders agreed States and has proven itself a great number of times in recent years. This mechanism also operated tonight. An initial investigation of the incident revealed that: a. Extensive and inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft fire caused damage to the Russian plane and its fall B. When the Syrian army fired the missiles that hit the Russian aircraft, Israeli Air Force planes were already in Israeli territory.
    • 20 September, 2018. Israeli airforce chief visits Moscow.
    • 23 September, 2018. RU MoD new press conference places blame on Israel (video, Eng sub.)
    21:39-21:42, Israeli colonel over deconfliction line warns on Israeli strike 'in Northern Syria'. Conversation is in Russian, record exists
    21:40 Israeli strike on 'industrial objects in Latakia' (western, not northern Syria) by 4 Israeli planes using GBU 39 guided bombs
    21:50 Syrian air defense starts responding
    after the strike, Israeli planes patrol 70 km west of Syrian coast, deploying radio-electronic interference, 'and likely planning a new attack'
    21:59 one Israeli plane starts maneuvering towards Syrian coast, getting closer to IL-20 (map at 22:00 shown on screen)
    it was taken as an attack by Syrian air defenses
    22.03 (Msc). "the Syrian anti-aircraft missile struck a larger and nearer target - an IL-20 aircraft.The commander of the crew reported a fire on board and the beginning of an emergency descent"
    22.07 IL-20 disappears from radar
    22:29 Russia to Israel over deconfliction line: our plane in trouble, clear the area, we are sending search and rescue team. Israeli lt.: information received and passed to command.
    22:40 Israeli planes leave
    22:50 Israeli colonel responds over deconfliction line that their planes left, offers assistance
    23 September, 2018. IDF spokesperson rejects the charges (alternative factual details are not presented). IDF Spokesperson's announcement:
    An IDF delegation headed by Air Force Commander Major General Amikam Norkin presented to senior Russian military officials the full IDF debriefing that the Russian plane had been shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire. The research was carried out and presented in a thorough, professional and detailed manner.
    The full details, precise and factual, are known to the professionals involved in the Russian army, and it is clear that the friction prevention mechanism has been operating in time (as it has been for the last two and a half years). The Israeli Air Force did not hide behind any aircraft and the Israeli planes were in Israel's airspace The Russian.
    The result of the plane's downfall by the Syrians is tragic and difficult, and we share the sorrow of the families and the Russian people.
    The coordination between the Israel Defense Forces and the Russian army has proved itself many times in recent years. Continued coordination is a common interest in light of regional challenges.
    At the same time, and as we have seen this time, the equipment of irresponsible elements with advanced weapons poses a danger to the region and can cause serious damage to the factors operating in the area.
    The safety and security of the Russian forces operating in Syria is before the eyes of the decision makers in Israel and the IDF and constitutes a significant consideration in approving each action.
    The IDF will continue to take all necessary steps, as it has done so far, to achieve this goal.
    The IDF will continue to act in accordance with the directives of the political echelon in the face of Iran's unceasing attempts to establish itself in Syria and arm itself with weapons
    • Notes: (1) initial Russian announcement, see e.g. the top link above, had: date, around 23:00 msk, 17 September. The reason for the discrepancy is not entirely clear
    • (2) In the beginning of video, screen presentation looks like an actual air control map, with signed ticks corresponding to individual planes (usually linked with flight parameters such as altitude, velocity). In the shoot-down part of the video, a schematic graphics is shown, distinct from the earlier air control map).
    • (3) If air defenses were near Damascus, and target in Latakia, near Khmeimim base, this is some 210 km away. A target at height 3.4 km up is at the (visual) horizon at this distance. Thus IL-20 (under assumption on where firing was from) is above horizon, and F-16 most likely below 3.4 km and the radar horizon). --Resup (talk) 13:01, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
  • 24 September, 2018. Shoigu: Russia will transfer S-300 to Syria (video); Russia to provide S-300 missile defense system to Syria within two weeks-JPost.
  • One more briefing by RU MoD, S-400 screenshots shown. One Israeli plane at a height of around 9 km and same azimuth/behind IL-20, quite close by, shown.
  • Alexey Venediktov, Ch. Ed.-Echo Moskvy: 'Hey, I found out the time-line of the story with the plane' (source not provided).
    1. The Israeli authorities warned the Russian military about the attack at 21:38.
    Il-20 was not in the attack zone.
    2. The attack began at 21:40 and ended at 21:50.
    3. Syrian air defense began to fire at 21:52.
    4. The Israeli F-16 returned to Israeli airspace at 22:01.
    5. Our IL-20 was hit by a missile of Syrian air defense at 22:03.
    And who is fooling the Chief, Karl? (Karl, =rhetorical). We will be observing. (Ending is a colloquial contemporary cool-speak of sort)


    Noted: sources are neither transparent as such nor made transparent here --17:21, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Igor Strelkov on social media, 24 September, 2018 ... "I have a desire to buy a house, but I do not have the means, I have the means to buy a goat (коза, = female goat), but I have no desire." - folk wisdom from the film "The Caucasian Captive". That is, we conclude that we will not be able to "buy a house" from our Ministry of Defense in the existing realities. But Shoigu has quite enough means to "buy a goat". And, unlike the "toasting jigit", he hurries to present and realize this opportunity - without any particular hesitation - whether this "goat" will be useful at all, and whether the costs for its further maintenance are justified.  ...A "goat" can only anger and irritate our 'sacral partners'. So that they have this "goat" demonstratively "banged" (=slaughtered)...
  • The victory of generals' narrative, by Pavel Felgenhauer(Eng. Wikipedia), Novaya Gazeta, September 25, 2018
    The author is an established, Western-leaning journalist specializing in military affairs. Article is published in a liberal/pro-Western/Bellingcat-friendly (and rabidly so) 'Novaya Gazeta'. The author essentially alleges that RU MoD presentation is a cover-up for errors committed, while (unpublished) Israeli data are accurate. The author does not present evidence backing up his claim, and does not discuss his sources. It is hard to say/unknown whether his claim is based on information or imagination. He argues that there would be no point for Israeli jets to stay in the area after bombing is completed. --Resup (talk) 05:10, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Consequences - TTG - Sic Semper Tyrannis, September 25, 2018