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Analyst Blames France for Deadly Crash of Russian Fighter Jet in Syria.

Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Russian expert referred to the Syrian air defense system's mistake to shoot down a Russian plane during Israeli airstrikes, saying that the French frigate deployed near Syria's coastal areas has likely collaborated in the incident.

The Arabic-language website of RT quoted Russian military expert Mikhail Khodarenok as saying on Wednesday that the French frigate named Auvergne has intentionally or unintentionally played a role in the incident.

He noted that the French vessel fired cruise missiles at Syrian targets concurrent with the incident, and said that it further complicated the conditions in the airspace of Syria's Southern coasts and created more problems for the Syrian air defense system by its deployment in an improper place and time.

The Russian military said an Il-20 electronic intelligence plane was hit 35km off Syria's Mediterranean coast as it returned to its home base nearby. All 15 Russian crew members were killed.

Russian defense officials described maneuvers by Israeli fighter jets during the incident as "hostile" and said it had a right to retaliate.

"The Israeli pilots were using the Russian aircraft as a shield and pushed it into the line of fire of the Syrian defense," Igor Konashenkov, Russian defense ministry spokesperson, told state media.

A warning from Israel was received "less than one minute before the strike, which left no chance for taking the Russian plane to safety," added Konashenkov.

Meantime, Russian airspace control systems registered missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

The French Navy's newest frigate, FS 'Auvergne,' fired rockets at around 8pm GMT on Monday, the Russian military said.

"Airspace control has recorded rocket launches from the French frigate 'Auvergne,'" the ministry's statement read. The 'Auvergne' is deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Syria.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Sep 19, 2018
Words:316
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