Athletic

Israel air force chief to give Moscow findings on plane downing

Israel's air force commander was set

to lead a delegation to Moscow on Thursday to share the military's findings

on the Syrian downing of a Russian warplane following Israeli air strikes.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has blamed Israel for the incident, which

was the worst case of friendly fire between Moscow and his regime since

Russian forces intervened in the war-torn country in late 2015.

The Russia-bound delegation, led by Major General Amikam Norkin, will

present the situation report regarding all aspects of the incident, the

Israeli army said in a statement on Wednesday.

It will also provide information on Iranian attempts to transfer

strategic weapons to the Hezbollah terror organisation and to establish an

Iranian military presence in Syria, the statement said.

Syrian air defences shot down the Russian military plane on Monday,

killing all 15 soldiers aboard, after Israeli missiles had struck the coastal

region of Latakia.

Israel has vowed to stop its arch-foe Iran, which backs the Assad regime,

from entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria.

Earlier this month, it acknowledged having carried out more than 200

strikes in Syria over the past 18 months, mainly against Iranian targets.

After Monday's incident, the Russian military accused Israeli pilots of

using the Russian plane as a cover, exposing it to fire from Syrian air

defences.

Israel denied the allegations, saying its jets were already back in its

airspace when Syrian forces launched the missiles that hit the Russian plane.

In a letter to his Russian counterpart on Wednesday, Assad offered his

condolences for the deaths after the plane was downed by Syria's Russian-made

S-200 air defence system.

This unfortunate incident was the result of Israeli arrogance and

depravity, the Syrian leader said.

We are determined that such tragic events will sway neither you nor us

from continuing the fight against terrorism, he added in the letter

published by the official Sana news agency.

� 'Tragic accidental circumstances' � Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu expressed his sorrow to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a

phone call on Tuesday, offering to assist Moscow in the investigation.

However, he insisted the Russian plane had been felled by extensive and

inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft (fire).

Putin had said the incident was the result of tragic accidental

circumstances, warning Netanyahu against carrying out such operations in the

future.

He also pledged to beef up security for Russian forces in Syria, which

three years ago stepped in to support Assad whose grip on power had been

weakened by rebels and jihadist fighters.

Israel has admitted to striking Syria to prevent what it says are

deliveries of advanced weaponry to Lebanon's Hezbollah, an armed movement

backed by Iran and which fights alongside Syrian troops.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah said the Shiite movement

would stay in Syria until further notice.

We will remain there even after the Idlib accord, Nasrallah said,

referring to a Russia-Turkey deal to prevent a Syrian regime offensive on the

country's last rebel-held stronghold.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)

Athletic

Israel air force chief to give Moscow findings on plane downing

Israel's air force commander was set

to lead a delegation to Moscow on Thursday to share the military's findings

on the Syrian downing of a Russian warplane following Israeli air strikes.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has blamed Israel for the incident, which

was the worst case of friendly fire between Moscow and his regime since

Russian forces intervened in the war-torn country in late 2015.

The Russia-bound delegation, led by Major General Amikam Norkin, will

present the situation report regarding all aspects of the incident, the

Israeli army said in a statement on Wednesday.

It will also provide information on Iranian attempts to transfer

strategic weapons to the Hezbollah terror organisation and to establish an

Iranian military presence in Syria, the statement said.

Syrian air defences shot down the Russian military plane on Monday,

killing all 15 soldiers aboard, after Israeli missiles had struck the coastal

region of Latakia.

Israel has vowed to stop its arch-foe Iran, which backs the Assad regime,

from entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria.

Earlier this month, it acknowledged having carried out more than 200

strikes in Syria over the past 18 months, mainly against Iranian targets.

After Monday's incident, the Russian military accused Israeli pilots of

using the Russian plane as a cover, exposing it to fire from Syrian air

defences.

Israel denied the allegations, saying its jets were already back in its

airspace when Syrian forces launched the missiles that hit the Russian plane.

In a letter to his Russian counterpart on Wednesday, Assad offered his

condolences for the deaths after the plane was downed by Syria's Russian-made

S-200 air defence system.

This unfortunate incident was the result of Israeli arrogance and

depravity, the Syrian leader said.

We are determined that such tragic events will sway neither you nor us

from continuing the fight against terrorism, he added in the letter

published by the official Sana news agency.

� 'Tragic accidental circumstances' � Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu expressed his sorrow to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a

phone call on Tuesday, offering to assist Moscow in the investigation.

However, he insisted the Russian plane had been felled by extensive and

inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft (fire).

Putin had said the incident was the result of tragic accidental

circumstances, warning Netanyahu against carrying out such operations in the

future.

He also pledged to beef up security for Russian forces in Syria, which

three years ago stepped in to support Assad whose grip on power had been

weakened by rebels and jihadist fighters.

Israel has admitted to striking Syria to prevent what it says are

deliveries of advanced weaponry to Lebanon's Hezbollah, an armed movement

backed by Iran and which fights alongside Syrian troops.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah said the Shiite movement

would stay in Syria until further notice.

We will remain there even after the Idlib accord, Nasrallah said,

referring to a Russia-Turkey deal to prevent a Syrian regime offensive on the

country's last rebel-held stronghold.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)