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Syrian Air Force interrogates officers shot down Russian Ilyushin-20

Local | 2018-09-26 04:21:00
Syrian Air Force interrogates officers shot down Russian Ilyushin-20
(Zaman Al Wasl)- A well-informed source said the Syrian Air Force formed commission of Inquiry to investigae the downing of the downed Russian Ilyushin-20 with 15 troops on board was shot down by a Syrian air defense missile on September 17.

M. General Ahmed Balloul, head of the regime's air force  formed acommission led by:

- Major Gen. Riyad Al-Yousef, Director of Air Operations Department, as Chairman.

- Major Gen Fuad Merhej, Deputy Director of Air Operations Department and liaison officer between the Russian Hmeimim base and the Air Force Command of the regime.

- Gen. Ghassan Ismail, deputy director of the Air Intelligence Directorate, as well as a number of other specialized officers.

The source said that the formation of the committee came at the request of the Russian side, pointing out that the committee emerged from a meeting held in the meeting room for senior officers of the Air Force and Air Defense leaders headed by Air Force Commander and Air Defense Major General Ahmed Ballboul.

The Commission began its work, according to the source, on Thursday, September 19, with investigating of the crews of three headquarters of the Air Force and Air Defense headquarters:

The headquarters of the Air Force and Air Defense in Damascus (the headquarters authorized to take the decision to fire after notification of the highest level, the general command of the army and the armed forces, where he was extensively investigated with the entire crew and with the crew who was a worker sought the incident occurred with the officers and alternate commanders Dean and Commander of the Central Headquarters and the rank of Major General).

The source also reported the investigation of the commander of the "Regiment 49" and the commander of the battalion, one of whose vehicles fired the missile, which was supposed to have shot down the Russian  -20, in addition to investigating a number of officers in the 71 Brigade in the Lattakia, which includes the strength of the missiles of "Bok 1 and 2" and the "Pantsir missile system S 1".

A military sources, also, revealed to Zaman al- Wasl, three Israeli naval boats have entered the Syrian territorial waters, seeking to find the wreckage of the  military source told Zaman al-Wasl.

The Syrian officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Israeli navy is cooperating with Russian in search of the remains of the dead and the wreckage of the Russian plane in front of coastal Latakia city. 

The source confirmed that the Russian air base had ordered the Syrian navy not to approach the site, and not to publish any information about what is happening in the area.

Russia has used the Israeli navy after failing for two consecutive days to determine the whereabouts of the wreckage of Ilyushin-20, according to the source.

The Russian military Sunday said "misleading" information from the Israeli airforce caused the downing of a Russian plane in Syria, and denounced the "adventurism" of Israeli pilots.

Military spokesman Igor Konashenkov presented the results of an investigation of how a Russian Ilyushin-20 was shot dow.

Moscow has accused Israel's fighter pilots of using the bigger Ilyushin as cover, resulting in Syria's Soviet-era S-200 air defence system interpreting the Russian plane as a target.

Israel denied this version of events and its air force commander flew to Moscow following the incident, which President Vladimir Putin called a result of a "chain of tragic accidental circumstances."

It was the deadliest known case of friendly fire between Syria and key backer Russia since Moscow's game-changing 2015 military intervention.

Konashenkov said the Russian military received a call from Israeli command at 1839 GMT warning that Israel would be striking "north of Syria", where the Il-20 surveillance aircraft was monitoring the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Russia ordered its plane back to base. Then, "one minute" after Israel's call, its F-16 planes struck targets in Latakia in western Syria, he said.

"The misleading (information) by the Israeli officer regarding the location of the strikes made it impossible to guide the Il-20 to a safe location," said Konashenkov.

As the Il-20 was landing near Latakia, one of the F-16 planes "began manoeuvres" at 1859 GMT "getting closer to the Il-20," which was interpreted as a repeat attack by the Syrian air defence and resulted in it being shot down, he said. Zaman Al Wasl, Agencies


Israeli navy entered Syria territorial waters, searching for Ilyushin-20 wreckage: source
Zaman Al Wasl
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