WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Syria, Russia’s ally in a prolonged proxy war in the region, were reportedly responding to a number of Israeli missiles launched towards the city of Latakia when it accidentally shot a Russian maritime patrol aircraft.
- Russia also announced that it had lost contact with an IL-20 aircraft carrying 14 service members.
- A U.S. Central Command spokesman told Business Insider that U.S. forces were not involved, but did not comment on where the strikes originated from.
Syrian forces were believed to have accidentally shot down a Russian maritime patrol aircraft, according to a CNN report published on Monday.
According to a U.S. military official, Syrian anti-aircraft artillery was responding to a number of Israeli missiles launched towards the coastal city of Latakia when it accidentally shot the Russian aircraft.
Russia’s defense ministry also announced that it had lost contact with an IL-20 aircraft carrying 14 service members.
Syria has been Russia’s ally in a prolonged proxy war in the region. Russia’s military presence in Latakia includes the large naval base reportedly under attack by an unclaimed missile strike, which Syria alleges to have come from Israel.
Israeli Defense Forces declined to comment on the missile strikes, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Sunday that his country will be “taking action to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry.”
Russia has boasted about Syria’s air defense capabilities before. When the U.S. and its allies fired over 100 missiles in an airstrike towards suspected chemical weapons facilities in April, Russian forces claimed that the “high-effectiveness” of Russian-supplied weapons and “excellent training of Syrian servicemen” shot down 71 of the missiles.
U.S. reports contradicted Russia’s claim, however, stating that Syria’s air defenses were “largely ineffective” in responding to its “precise and overwhelming” strikes.
According to U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, “The Syrian response was remarkably ineffective in all domains.”
U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Urban has told Business Insider that “The U.S. was not involved in any strikes in Western Syria or in the shootdown of any planes tonight,” but did not comment on where the strikes originated from.
Source: Business Insider