Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Russia Claims Israel Misled It Over Downing Of Plane Over Syria

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Air Force provided Russia with misleading information on the location of its airstrikes on targets in Syria, preventing a Russian surveillance plane in the area from moving to a safe zone, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced.

The findings of the Russian Defense Ministry about the accidental downing last week of a Russian plane by Syrian anti-aircraft fire in the area of an Israeli air strike on a facility of the Syrian armed forces contradicts the findings of the Israel Defense Forces on the September 17 incident. Fifteen Russian troops were killed in the incident.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov on Sunday told reporters that Israel’s Air Force provided incorrect information about the location of the airstrike during negotiation on the “deconfliction channel” set up to avoid conflict between Israel and Russia over activities in Syria, the Russian Sputnik news agency reported.

In addition, Konashenkov said that the Israeli Air Force notified Russia of its planned attacks on Syrian targets simultaneously with the beginning of the strikes instead of in advance, which he said was a violation of 2015 bilateral agreements to prevent such incidents in Syrian airspace.

Konashenkov accused the pilots of the Israeli F-16 fighter jets of using the Russian Ilyushin IL-20 airplane as a shield against the Syrian anti-missile system.

The Russian timeline of the incident, which its Defense Ministry backed with recordings and with a minute-by-minute account of the incident made based on objective radar readings, differs from the Israeli recounting of the incident. Israel, for example, said that its fighter jets were already in Israeli airspace when the Russian plane was hit; Russia disputes this saying that the Israeli jets left the area only 10 minutes after learning that the Russian plane had been hit.

Konashenkov called it is “an extremely ungrateful response to all that has been done by the Russian federation for Israel and for the Israeli people, recently.”

On Thursday, a delegation of Israeli military officials traveled to Moscow to present the IDF’s situation report of downing of the Russian plane. The delegation returned the following day asserting that Moscow agreed with its version of the events.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.