On September 19, Yasin Aktay, a senior advisor of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that Israel provoked the Il-20 incident in order to sabotage the “positive atmosphere” that resulted of the Russian-Turkish agreement on the Syrian governorate of Idlib. According to the senior Turkish official, Israel is now working to keep the war in Syria ongoing.
“Weakening and destabilizing Syria are among the priorities of Israel, regardless if Assad was the ruler of the country or anyone else, it’s clear that that it wants the war in Syria and the killing of the Syrian people to continue in order to drain the strength and power of Syria so no strong state remain near it,” Aktay said during an interview with the Russian news outlet Sputnik.
The Israeli airstrike that caused a chain of events leading to the shoot down of the Russian Il-20 military plane occurred only few hours after the announcement of the Russian-Turkish agreement. Besides Aktay, many local observers stated the Israeli provocation as a response to the peace efforts in northwestern Syria.
The Israeli military held the Damascus government, Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah responsible for the incident, while Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel will continue its operation against Iranian forces in the war-torn country.
Israel’s attempt to blame on the Damascus government and its allies for the incident is a clear example of how the airstrike was also a political message against stability and peace in Syria.