Syria: shot down for mistake for a Russian Il-20 aircraft
Friendly fire during the Franco-Israeli bombing
During yesterday's Israeli-French missile strike against Syria's government positions, a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft (Ilyushin Il-18 military version) was shot down by the S-200 anti-aircraft system in use at Syrian armed forces. The electronic reconnaissance and maritime patrol aircraft had risen from the Hmeimin base in the direction of Latakia, flying over the area from where 4 Israeli F-16 planes were unhooking missiles against land targets, but on the way it was lost radar contact with the aircraft. The Russian defense ministry has confirmed the incident, but had ruled out a possible abatement of the plane that in the meantime had succeeded -according to what reported by the press- to identify the French frigate Auvergne intent on launching cruise missiles to Syria.
From the Hmeimin base a rescue operation was organized to try to identify the wreck of the Il-20 that carried 14 people, probably died in the killing, which happened because of the friendly fire of the Syrian anti-aircraft artillery which mistakenly hit it confusing it with the F-16s of the Tel Aviv Air Force in flight in the same area.
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