Report: Russian Warplane Shot Down Off Syrian Coastal Province of Latakia

Incident happened during missile attack against Latakia City

In the course of a flurry of missile attacks against the provincial capital of Latakia in western Syria, a Russian military aircraft, identified as an Il-20, was shot down off the coast. 14 people were on board the plane, and their fate is unknown.

Presumptions are that this was related to the attack on Latakia, which Russian officials say also came from offshore. There are conflicting stories on whether this was the latest Israeli attack on Syria, or if it was the French military firing the missiles.

US officials reported they had knowledge of the incident, but they tried to blame it on Syrian anti-aircraft fire, which was fired at the incoming missiles. This seems to try to avoid the possibility of a US ally having shot down a Russian plane.

It doesn’t, however, make sense. Syrian anti-aircraft forces are all Russian-made, and carefully integrated with the Russian forces operating in the area. Between that and the Russian plane operating 35 km off the coast, it doesn’t seem plausible that a stray Syrian shot would’ve brought the plane down.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.