Russian IL-20 MPA shot down during Israeli attack on Syria

A Russian IL-20 maritime patrol aircraft disappeared from radar over Syria on Monday as Israeli jets carried out an attack on Syria’s Latakia province.

File photo of a IL-20 aircraft

Most recent reports say that the defense ministry acknowledged the loss of the aircraft to friendly fire.

According to Interfax, the Il-20 was shot down by a Syrian S-200 missile system. All 15 service members aboard the aircraft were killed in the attack.

While the plane was shot down by Syrian forces, the Russian defense ministry reportedly blamed Israel for the attack noting the fact that Israel warned it about the F-16I strikes on Latakia too late. The ministry also said it reserved the right to respond to Israeli actions, which it deemed hostile, appropriately.

According to the Russian defense ministry, air traffic controllers at Khmeimim Airbase lost contact with the aircraft late Monday as it flew some 30 miles off the coast of Syria.



The Israeli Air Force issued a statement expressing sorrow for the death of the Il-20 aircrew. IAF blamed the Assad regime and Iran and Hezbollah for the incident. It was further noted that Israeli authorities would share all relevant information with the Russian government to review the incident.


Russian news outlet RT also reported that Russian forces registered missile launches from French FREMM frigate FS Auvergne as it sailed in the Mediterranean Sea on Monday. The missile launches reportedly occurred at the same time as the IL-20 disappeared from radar. Paris denies any involvement in the attack.

The IL-20 is an electronic intelligence and surveillance aircraft flown by Russian naval aviation.