Russia rejected the findings of an Israeli investigation into the incident in which Syrian anti-aircraft missiles downed a Russian plane while trying to thwart an Israeli airstrike on Syrian port city Latakia. The Kremlin asked for Israel to open a new investigation as Israel's findings considered Russia and Syria responsible for the plane's downing, according to Israeli newspaper Hareetz.
A high-level Israeli military delegation visited Moscow on Thursday to present detailed information related to the downing of a Russian warplane by Syrian forces that responded to an Israeli air raid.
All 15 crew members on board the Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane were killed when it was downed Monday by Syrian air defense forces that mistook it for Israeli jets. The incident threatened to derail the close security ties between Russia and Israel. Russia's Defense Ministry initially blamed the plane's loss on Israel, saying its fighter jets pushed the Russian plane into the line of fire, but Putin sought to defuse tensions, pointing at "a chain of tragic accidental circumstances."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly called Russian President Vladimir to express sorrow over the death of the plane's crew, blamed Syria and offered to share detailed data.
On Thursday, a delegation of Israeli military officers led by Norkin, held several meetings in Moscow with their Russian counterparts. The Israeli military said in a statement that they presented the situation report regarding the plane's downing, as well as the pre-mission information and the findings of an Israeli military inquiry.
Meanwhile, an Israeli military official said its "deconfliction line" with Russia for their air forces in Syria will be examined after a Russian plane was hit by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli raid. He spoke anonymously according to protocol Friday after an Israeli delegation returned from Moscow, as reported by The Associated Press. The arrangement was agreed by Israel and Russia in 2015, when Russian forces intervened alongside the regime in Syria to avoid clashes between their militaries inside Syrian territory.
The Israeli military has said its fighter jets were targeting a Syrian military facility involved in providing weapons for Iran's proxy Hezbollah militia and insisted it warned Russia of the coming raid in accordance with deconfliction agreements. It said the Syrian army fired the missiles that hit the Russian plane when the Israeli jets had already returned to Israeli airspace. But the Russian Defense Ministry charged that the Israeli warning came less than a minute before the strike, leaving the Russian aircraft in the line of fire. It accused the Israeli military of deliberately using the Russian plane as a cover to dodge Syrian defenses and threatened to retaliate.