Russia’s Ilyushin Il-20 plane that was reportedly carrying 14 servicemen, disappeared over the Mediterranean 35 kilometers from the Syrian coast on Monday evening.
According to news agency Interfax, the command of the air base Hmeymim are now carrying out search and rescue operations.
The plane was hit by Syrian anti-aircraft artillery, when Israel’s a rocket attack was being repelled, CNN reports citing sources in the US government. The aircraft was shot down by an anti-aircraft system the Russians had sold to the Syrians before, another source suggested.
(UPD) The military plane was shot down by the Syrian air defense over the Mediterranean Sea, because Israel’s F-16 fighters used it as a cover, news agency TASS reports with reference to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
“By using the Russian plane as a cover the Israeli air pilots made it vulnerable to Syrian air defense fire. As a result, the Ilyushin-20, its reflective surface being far greater than that of F-16, was downed by a missile launched with the S-200 system,” Konashenkov said.