The Russian Viewpoint on IL-20 Shootdown


From Colonel Cassad (machine translated):

Key points from the official briefing of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation on the death of the Il-20 with a complete chronology of events based on objective control data:

1. The warning from Israel came a minute before the strike.
2. Israel directly violated the 2015 agreement on avoiding conflict situations, which it performs much worse than even the US.
3. Israel has not warned where exactly the strike will be struck, in fact misleading Russia, which has entailed subsequent events .. The RF Ministry of Defense has a record of this conversation.
4. It was not reported where the Israeli F-16s are located.
5. Israeli planes were maneuvering in the area and covered themselves with IL-20.
6. Refuted the lies of Israel, that the aircraft after the impact immediately returned to the base.
7. The blame for what happened is entirely on Israel and the leadership of the Israeli Air Force.

The Israeli press about the situation with the death of IL-20. First, the presentation of the Russian position, and then the Israeli one.

Izral-7 Arutz Sheva: The Russian military continues to blame Israel for the fact that the Syrian air defense system was shot down by the Russian reconnaissance aircraft Il-20

On Friday, September 21, an Kremlin-controlled Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda published an article describing the details of the meeting between the Israeli a military delegation led by Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin and Russian colleagues led by the commander-in-chief of the Air and Space Forces of Russia Sergey Surovikin.
The meeting was devoted to the circumstances that led to the fact that the Syrian air defense system shot down the Russian air defense missile system S-200 Russian reconnaissance aircraft Il-20.

As the Channel 7 wrote, an Israeli military source reported that “the meeting was professional and practical,” and that Israel had provided Russia with extensive evidence of its non-involvement in the fall of the aircraft.

However, the position of the Kremlin, which accused Israel earlier that the IL-20 was shot down, does not seem to have changed. In any case, this follows from the submission of information in the Komsomolskaya Pravda. An article exposing Israel was filed as an interview, between a newspaper correspondent and Russian military who participated in the negotiations, “who (for obvious reasons) asked not to mention his last name and position.”

Here is the record of this conversation.

– How did the negotiations begin?

– With the fact that Surovikin and Norkin greeted each other, shook hands and together with accompanying persons sat opposite each other at long tables. I noticed that all of our people had very severe faces, and the Israelis did not make diplomatic smiles. Everyone understood that the situation is not the same – the conversation will be very difficult. Norkin first expressed his condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased crew of the IL-20, and then reported that the Israeli side is ready to provide the Russians all the necessary data on the situation with our aircraft. Before him lay a plump folder with documents. These were the findings of an investigation conducted by the IDF after the incident. Including preflight information about the four Israeli F-16, which appears in this tragedy. I figured that there would be fifty pages.

And how did Surovikin react to this?

– He expressed himself in the sense that, they say, thanks for the documents, but we need to thoroughly understand them. Because we are also conducting our investigation, that we also have our own documents of objective control. There are also Syrian …

– Well, then how did the negotiations go?

– And then Norkin set out the vision of the tragic situation with our Il-20 from the Israeli side. He spoke for a long time, I can tell you only some basic points. And immediately I note that we did not hear anything fundamentally new.
There was a set of arguments already heard from Tel Aviv, from the Ministry of Defense of Israel …

– And what?

– Well, for example, Israel imposes full responsibility on the Assad regime for the death of the IL-20. When our people heard this, many wanted to exclaim: “And where is Assad?” This is a typical demagogy! Yes Yes! The Israelis seriously accused the regime of Bashar Assad in the tragedy, stating that it was the Syrian air defense that hit the plane.
Someone from our side immediately ironically cut the Israeli: “If your F-16 did not break into the airspace of Syria, did not provoke the Syrian air defense to open fire, then no tragedy would happen.”

– And how did the Israeli delegation react to this?

– Again the same demagogic blizzard suffered. Say, the Israeli Air Force attacked the objects of the Syrian army, which (with a reservation – supposedly!) Produced weapons for Hezbollah, which (and here again – supposedly!) Was intended for use against Israel, escalating the threat …

– And Surovikin on it said?

– He said that all this requires serious factual evidence, and not under assumptions. For so it is possible to go far. Military people operate on facts, not versions. In response, the Israelis showed our satellite images of the areas on which the F-16 struck. And again they began to sing: according to these pictures, it can be concluded that these are military plants for the production of precision missiles, and not aluminum plants, as the Assad regime maintains. Someone from our again cut them off: they say, you can draw conclusions different … Including contrived … Let’s get closer to the point. But again they heard: “Israel believes that Iran and Hezbollah are responsible for this tragic incident.”
Here, Surovikin returned Norkin’s questions with his questions. And again he made it clear to the side that it was the actions of Israeli aviation that provoked the tragedy that day. And again reminded the guests of the words of Shoigu: “The fault for the downed Russian plane and the death of the crew is entirely on the Israeli side.” This is our principled position.

“” And what did Norkin say?

“The Israelis turned around:” When the Syrian army fired rockets in a Russian plane, the Israeli Air Force planes were already on Israeli territory. “And that, during the attack of the Israeli Air Force, the Russian aircraft that was hit was not in their zone of action.

” And what was our response to this?

– And from our side it immediately sounded that we have other data. Other documents. They are also in the Syrian air defense command. Here it is necessary to thoroughly verify the data. Literally by the minutes and seconds.

– And the question of why the Israelis informed us only a minute before the moment when their fighters broke into the Syrian sky sounded?

– Of course! According to the expression of the people of the delegation from the delegation, it was obvious that this was a very, very unpleasant question for them. Moreover, both Surovikin and our other officers reminded them of our long-standing, still 2015, agreements on “rules of the game.”

– And how did the Israelis react to this question?

– Truly and turbidly. Even the interpreter picked up words with difficulty. And when they said that “the Syrian anti-aircraft batteries shot indiscriminately,” and then “and we (the Israelis), unfortunately, also did not bother to make sure that there are no Russian planes in the air,” – here our officers hardly from the chair Have fallen! This is with the praised, then-modern Israeli radar “not see” under its nose such a machine as the IL-20? This is not even an Israeli student will not believe. We again firmly repeat our position: the Israeli pilots set the IL-20 under the fire of the Syrian S-200.
In general, the impression was created that Norkin and his entourage, during the peak moments of the talks, tried to avoid specific military and technical issues related to our IL-20, but pressed absolutely on the other. The fact that Iran, for example, wants to strengthen its military presence in Syria and transfer weapons to Hezbollah.
But what does it matter if we are primarily interested in the main thing – do the Israelis recognize that it was the actions of their F-16 fighters that provoked the tragedy?

– And what ended the negotiations?

– Surovikin again reminded the Israeli delegation of the point of view of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, which was voiced by Shoigu. Well, agree to continue contacts. They also said that after such a tragedy, serious amendments must be made to the Russian-Israeli agreements that were established three years ago.

– Russia regarded the actions of Israel as hostile and stated that it reserves the right to adequate response actions. Was this the subject of negotiations at the talks?

– No.

– But such actions will be?

“We are military men.” We have the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, there is the Minister of Defense. Which order from them we will receive, we will do this.

Haaretz: Israel fears that Putin will cut his wings

Asked whether the shooting down of a Russian aircraft could affect the freedom of action of the Israeli air force in the skies over Syria, Defense Minister Lieberman did more evasion maneuvers than the pilots of Russian Ilya on Monday evening.
Satellite images show the destruction caused by the alleged missile attack of Israelis on targets near the Syrian town of Latakia. ImageSat International
Despite the relatively sparing statement of President Vladimir Putin and the urgent flight on Thursday morning of the commander of the Israeli Air Force to Russia, the incident with the shooting down of Russia the aircraft is not yet regulated.
Russia, after the incident, sends contradictory signals, besides,as always, there is a gap between her statements and actions. It would be a great optimism to believe that the statement by Russia on Wednesday closing, for a week, airspace west of the Syrian coast, because of the exercises, is a mere coincidence.

In his interview to Army Radio “Dekel-Segal”, Lieberman, and I could not give a definite answer. Undoubtedly, the party bearing the main responsibility for the incident is Syria, whose air defenses acted “unprofessionally and irresponsibly,” as described it Lieberman. Moscow is not inclined to forgive – and, probably, will try to make practical use from the embarrassment of Israel.Israel is convinced that he has a beautiful explanation of what happened. The investigation of the air force showed that the Syrians began to conduct a massive anti-aircraft fire when Israeli aircraft had already returned to the sky of Israel. The warning for Russians, Israel says, was given in accordance with the timeframes agreed between the two states when, in September 2015, they created a mechanism to prevent conflicts between Israeli and Russian aircraft

The Russian plane was shot down mainly because of a communication failure – either between Israel and Russia, the Russian air control system or between the Syrians and their Russian patrons. Israel denies the first opportunity – and this is probably what the Air Force commander, Major-General Amikam Norkin, told him. Moscow must make its claims to the Syrians. If there are credible reports that arrests have been made in the ranks of the Syrian air defense, then it seems that Russia is doing this too. Israeli intelligence minister Yisrael Katz said on Thursday that Putin refused to respond to a phone call from Syrian President Bashar Assad immediately after the incident.
Israel hopes that the Russians will close the airspace only for one week and will not impose additional restrictions, such as prohibiting Israel to fly near its bases in northern Syria in a way that could limit Israel’s presence in Syria’s airspace over Damascus and to the south of it . According to foreign media reports, some Israeli air strikes were inflicted from a long distance, from outside the territory of Syria. However, such a restriction on the part of Russia can push the Iranians, the Assad regime and Hezbollah to create a safe space for them in the north of Syria. Ultimately, it could also allow Iran to continue to strengthen its military presence in the region and expand arms smuggling operations to Lebanon.

Lieberman told the army radio that the talks he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had with high-ranking Russian officials, in addition to sending Norkin to Moscow, should not take for granted something and confirmed the existence of good relations between the two countries. It also shows that Israel feels uncomfortable in the situation with the incident and its results, even if it is implicated only indirectly. In recent years, Israel has become accustomed to acting on its northern front almost unhindered. After his F-16 was shot down by the fire of Syrian air defense in February, Israel made operative conclusions, but, despite the growing opposition, continued its attacks. The events of this week may mark the beginning of a broader process,The picture of the Syrian campaign changed after the victory of Assad in the civil war, and Israel, probably, will also have to adapt, to a certain extent, its military activities there to a new situation. (about the refusal to take a call from Assad, as it was already arranged is a fake, the official Damascus also denied the allegations that the entire air defense unit, whose missile was delivered to the IL-20, was arrested).

Apparently, something really happens. According to several sources, yesterday two Israeli F-16s entered Lebanese airspace with the aim of “reconnaissance”. In the Tripoli area, they were met by two Russian Su-34s and forced to return to Israel’s airspace.
The Russian Air Force and the Air Force of Israel did not officially comment on this information.

The vessel for deepwater works “Seliger” has already approached the area of ​​the fall of the IL-20.

In terms of practical actions, while still in the public sphere, everything is limited to a closed exercise zone in the Eastern Mediterranean, a request for the provision of the Neue air base for the needs of the military security services and the intensification of air patrols in northwestern Syria.
Probably, after the rise of the wreckage of the fallen plane and the comparison of the data of the Russian Air Force and the Air Force of Israel (which Norkin brought to Moscow), one can expect official comments on the subject.

Assistant Managing Editor
Ian Greenhalgh is a photographer and historian with a particular interest in military history and the real causes of conflicts.

His studies in history and background in the media industry have given him a keen insight into the use of mass media as a creator of conflict in the modern world.

His favored areas of study include state sponsored terrorism, media manufactured reality and the role of intelligence services in manipulation of populations and the perception of events.
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  1. Today 9/23 from Tass, Israeli lies of being in Israeli airspace exposed:
    “At 22:03, a Syrian missile hit the closest and biggest target, which was the Il-20 aircraft. The captain reported about a fire on board and the start of an emergency landing,” he said, adding that the aircraft had disappeared from radar at 22:07.

    The Russian general added that at 22:29, a Russian duty officer in command in Syria informed the Israeli Air Force that a Russian Il-20 aircraft was in distress and demanded that Israeli fighter jets leave the area as a rescue operation was about to begin. An Israeli lieutenant confirmed the receipt of information but the Israeli F-16 jets left the area only at 22:40.

  2. What if the goal of the US-Israeli machinations in Syria is to draw Russia into a war in the middle east, attempting to weaken Putin’s rule in the same way Afghanistan was used to weaken the Soviet Union? That would explain Putin’s continued reluctance to respond to provocations.

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