The press secretary for the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov said that Vladimir Putin did not refuse to answer phone calls from Syrian leader Bashar Assad after the Syrian air defense shot down the Russian Il-20. According to Peskov, Putin reviewed all the materials provided by the Israelis, with the details of the destruction of the Russian Air Force aircraft on September 17th.
Some Israeli media referring to Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz wrote that the Russian president was furious and did not want to talk to the Syrian president after the Il-20 was shot down. It was reported that the official position of the Russian Ministry of Defense (putting all responsibility for the downed aircraft on Tel Aviv) is not the same as Putin’s view of the incident.
“This is not true, do not believe the Israeli media reports,” said Peskov on September 21st.
According to him, “the president [Vladimir Putin] is aware of all the information,” that the Israeli Air Force Chief Amikam Norkin personally handed over in Moscow to the representatives of the Ministry of Defense on September 20th. Peskov clarified that the data received is detailed and very technical and therefore the Ministry of Defense can assess the data only after careful study. Therefore, there will be no comments from the Kremlin until it is the right time to do so.
The Russian Air Force Il-20 aircraft was shown down by a Syrian missile on September 17th. The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that the responsibility for this tragedy lies with Israel. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Israeli F-16 jets used the Russian reconnaissance plane as cover, putting it in the line of fire of the Syrian air defense system. Israel did not agree with these accusations, pointing out that Damascus, Tehran, and Hezbollah are responsible for the downing of the plane and the death of 15 Russian servicemen.
The Syrian President Bashar Assad sent a telegram to Moscow only on September 20th, in which he expressed his condolences on the death of Russian servicemen. Assad in his message laid the blame for the incident on Israel.