Syrian War Report – September 18, 2018: Syrian Forces Accidentally Shot Down Russian IL-20

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In the evening of September 17, the Syrian province of Latakia came under a large-scale aerial attack, which targeted a power station as well as two facilities belonging to the Syrian military. There were also reports on air strikes in other parts of the country but they were not confirmed.

The Syrian state media said that the missiles came from the sea adding that a high number of them was intercepted. However, according to photos and videos, unknown number of missiles hit their targets.  Pentagon spokesman Navy Cmdr. Sean Robertson officially denied the US involvement in the attack.

On September 18, the Russian Defense Ministry revealed that the attack was carried out by four Israeli F-16 warplanes. Furthermore, during the attack a Russian Il-20 surveillance plane with 14 servicemen on board disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea. The ministry said that “the plane was returning to the airbase of Khmeimim, 35 kilometers from the coast of Syria” when “the mark of IL-20 went off” from radars.

“At the same time, the Russian radars fixed missile launches from the French frigate Auvergne, which was in that area,” the defense ministry added.

Later, the Russian Defense Ministry added that the IL-20 plane was accidentally targeted by a Syrian S-200 missile. The incident was a result of the intentional actions by Israeli warplanes, which were hinding from the Syrian fire behind the IL-20.

A search and rescue operation is ongoing.

The IL-20 surveillance plane is an Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) platform, equipped with a wide range of antennas, infrared and optical sensors.

It’s interesting to note that September 17 strike on Syria came just a few hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to establish a “demilitarized zone” between militants and government troops in the Syrian province of Idlib.

“We’ve agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15-20 km deep, with full withdrawal of hardline militants from there, including the Jabhat Al-Nusra [now known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham],” Putin said following face-to-face talks with his Turkish counterpart.

All heavy weaponry, including battle tanks and artillery, should be withdrawn from the zone before October 10. The zone will be patrolled by Turkish and Russian forces. It’s expected that roads between Aleppo and Hama, and Aleppo and Latakia must be reopened for transit traffic before the end of the year. According to Putin, the agreement has a “general” support from the Damascus government.

However, it’s still unclear how it’s possible to demilitarize a 15-20 km deep zone mostly controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies without employing a military option to force these militant groups to obey.

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  • Feudalism Victory

    Clearly the syrian air defense needs better aa and will need to work with lebanon to do so if they want better results.

    Damn sneaky thing though gotta give israel cleverness for trying to frame them. Doesnt sound like russia is buying it though.

  • Rob

    For this attack Israel have done how much home work that how to design this attack on Syria that Syrian ADM Systems shot down the Russian surveillance airplane. Russia have lost their own IL-20 with 14 officers for giving corridor to Israeli jets to attack on Syrian nation.

  • FlorianGeyer

    This will I suspect be the trigger for more up to date Russian systems being employed by Syria.

    The loss of the Russian aircraft crew is a tragedy that will not be forgotten by President Putin , I am sure.

    • paul ( original )

      I rather hope it is more than not forgotten. Rather I would hope for retribution, and this to come sooner rather than later. But I don’t have high expectations.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Retribution will come when the time is right for Russia.

        There is no point in fist flaying for the sake of it. I have sometimes waited years for the right moment that causes my retribution to have the maximum effect. It was always a shock to the debtor to have years of interest added to the debt that was secured by a charge on personal property when it was sold :)

        • paul ( original )

          Yes but will I live to see the retribution? I can not fuel myself on a hope that may be forlorn. Indeed I think it is forlorn.

          • FlorianGeyer

            The UK Military once employed volunteer soldiers to attempt to breach the walls of towns etc with units called the ‘Forlorn Hope’.
            Sometimes they were successful and sometimes not !

            Have faith , ‘own goals’ do not signify the end of a long game before the time is up.

          • Rodney Loder

            You post remind my of my recently purchased motor cycle, thank you I will.

    • Felix D (TUPPERWARE PARTY)

      A “No Fly Zone” would be nice! RuAF or SyAF only in the Syrian skies.

    • skinner15

      When will Russia use the up to date equipment it already has in Syria?

      Maybe when NATO forces take St Petersburg?

      • Dušan Mirić

        Russia will use its equipment when it estimate it is the right moment.

        • skinner15

          Having 15 servicemen dead and an ELINT aircraft wiped out is the moment to do so.

          This was a pre planned attack on Russian forces under the cover of doubt sown by the Syrian AA also firing. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence can see this was not a tragic accident of circumstances.

          Russia has backed down. If it had been an Israeli aircraft downed, they would have reacted immediately, as they always do.

    • putinbeater

      does not help

    • Antikapitalista

      I am sure President Putin tried to forget about it the moment the news was delivered to him.

    • Nigel Maund

      Good commentary FG, and I think right in your analysis of the situation. Putin cannot let this one through with Israel. Revenge will eventually be exacted in one way or another and ultimately Israel will live to regret it’s sneaky and agressive action.

      • FlorianGeyer

        The first thing that will be actioned by President Putin I suspect will be Russian manned updated S300’s to enforce a No Fly Zone , without prior permission over Syria, this should even encompass the US sphere of operations.

        I would think that Russian flights over Turkey already come under a bilateral agreement of some sort and Turkish flights over Syria could mimic that without causing official upset with Turkey.

        Russian S300 crews I would suggest, would also train Syrian crews in actual combat conditions on these systems. After that Russian crews would be withdrawn.

        • Nigel Maund

          Once again agree! No bully, like Israel, can expect to not meet its day of reckoning sooner or later. In Israel’s case that day is long overdue!

    • He’s already relegated it to “tragic circumstances.”

      • FlorianGeyer

        President Putin also said that measures to prevent this happening again would be put in place.

        • Hmm, he worded that warning in a rather interesting fashion – “everyone will notice” he said.

          Why everyone when it’s just Israel doing the dirty?
          Why not “Israel will notice.”?

          • FlorianGeyer

            I suspect a no fly zone of some sort, possibly over Lebanon and the sea as well.

  • AmericanCossack

    You know if you commit a crime (as Israel has done by attacking Syria) and a bystander whom you did not mean to kill is killed in the process you are likewise guilty of murder. This is no different. Whether the Zionists shot down the Russian plane or it was accidentally shot down by Syrian anti aircraft the Zionists have the blood of these brave Russian servicemen on their hands and President Putin needs to acknowledge that fact.

    • IMHO

      That is true. Yet Putin has said that it was not Israel’s fault.
      Makes me sick to my stomach.

      • zman

        ?????????

    • Harold Smith

      Yep, it’s called a “depraved heart murder.”

  • alexis

    Politicans overcome military power solutions…

  • Oscar Silva Martinez

    Shit sometimes happens

    • alejoeisabel

      Nice Zionist apology.

      • Oscar Silva Martinez

        True

  • Ed Troyer

    Geeezzzz….and this wasn’t anticipated? Are the Russians complete fools? Is there more going on here than what we are being told?

  • MH370

    so much for integrated SyADF sytem with RADF network
    and an electronic warfare plane that cannot defend itself

  • Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

    israel deserves full nuclear retaliatory strike :))))

    • Dušan Mirić

      No! Not Israel, just individuals in charge

  • Rodney Loder

    Obviously the highly decorated and professional Military Commander Putin does not want to engage France at this time and so is making excuses for them blaming israeli intelligence that will perhaps just get swept under the rug.

    The real victims apart from the missing Russian Service Men and possibly Women, – who could yet be found surving somehow, if Allah so Wills it to happen, if not may Allah raise their status in Paradise, – is the Terrorists who as the article clearly shows will lose some of the benefits Brother Erdogan had achieved on their behalf, but even so if you align yourself with the devil you must expect some recriminations.

  • alejoeisabel

    Because of Syria’s antiquated anti-air defense from the Soviet era, Zionist air force invade and attack Syria with impunity. Had the Syrian air defense forces had the Russian built S-400 and S-300, Israel would not have attacked Syria. Time to give adequate air defense to Syria.

  • alejoeisabel

    A no fly Zone over the Eastern Syrian Mediterranean and Southern Lebanon.

  • Icarus Tanović

    Look at the Putins face, when hand shake with that shit ass goat fucker worm…
    This, that handshake was capitulation of Russia…

    • Dušan Mirić

      Yeah, he looks like he’s about to puke

  • skinner15

    I don’t believe this tale of F16’s falling in behind an ELINT plane, without the Russians and Syrians knowing it. S400’s can see out to 400km, this plane was 35 miles from its base. Were there no Russian ships in the Med Sea neither that were not tracking 4 F16s approaching Latakia?

    Putin has blinked, he has stopped the assault on Idlib, and he gets to suck on the fact that the US and its allies, can shoot down any Russian aircraft they want to.

    Why he has put so much Russian prestige down the toilet, is a question he should be asked.

  • Antikapitalista

    Again, this is actually a fault of the Russian leadershit.
    Sadly, it considers its own citizens mere cannonfodder for its ambitions.

    Let me explain it…
    1. An extraordinary agreement about the withdrawal of Iranian and Hezbollah forces 100 km from the territories still occupied by Israel.
    2. Has Israel appreciated it in any way? Sure, by yet another outrageous bombing, this time of the Damascus International Airport.
    3. Furthermore, during the raid, Israel even broke the extraordinary agreement it had concluded with Russia about early notification, it even used the Russian plane as a cover.
    4. How has Putin responded? Along the lines of: “Uh, oh, this is an unfortunate beginning of the new normal.”

    Thus, so far, no amount of goodwill has not stopped the fucking Jews from exploiting, abusing and violating each and every extraordinary agreement they have concluded.

    There is only one sensible answer to this Israeli banditry: withdraw from all the Syrian territories, including the occupied Golan Heights, or nukes will be deployed in Syria.

  • frankly

    Just another example of cowardly F.uk.us tactics. If they aren’t torturing kids to death to start WW III, they are suckering the French into earning the number one spot on the F.uk.us acronym. They are obviously the bad guys trying desperately to invent a reason for war.

    What was the French reason for shooting missiles into Syria, or are they sticking to the no we didn’t do that story?

  • frankly

    This is certainly a tragic event for the family members who lost loved ones. My deepest condolences.

    However I would rather be holding Putin’s cards than be in the F.uk.us position. Good luck to explain why you chose to attack immediately after Turkey and Russia announced plans to cancel a military attack and establish a demilitarization zone, no matter how obscure it’s chances of success.

    Oh I know they will get up in front of a whole gaggle of flags and looking very impressive, they will blah, blah and blah till the cows come home or even after.

    But it’s like the Skirpal soap opera, too many holes in the plot. Or the White Helmet reality show. Really, you provide arms, training, food, medical and air cover for their forces, but they won’t let a journalist visit? Really?

    But we finance the White Helmets to provide video coverage and that is somehow an arms length arrangement, oh and I should go to jail for smoking pot. Right!

  • John D.

    Tragic as it may be, it strikes me as rather odd the spyplane wasn‘t escorted by a fighter like every Russian bomber is since the shootdown by Turkey. I still think this won‘t sour Russia-Israel relations. To many Putin supporting oligarchs have financial and personal links to Israel. But maybe Russia will finally beef up Syria‘s airdefences with some more sophisticated systems. Even though casualties are unavoidable in a military conflict, the latest loss is quite significant. Hopefully it will lower the stakes for a more robust and willing Russian response to the continuing provocations and attacks by the Western players in the region, including „immune“ Israel.

    • RichardD

      There may have been escorts. But that wouldn’t prevent the incident if they weren’t tasked with removing the IAF from the area. As they probably will be in the future.

      • John D.

        Your word in Putin’s ear.

  • DONUT

    Lol russia will be nuked soon