The downing of a Russian Il-20 earlier this week off the coast of Syria has left Israel scrambling to explain its own involvement in the incident, and while they feign confidence, the fact that they sent a delegation to Russia to keep pushing their narrative shows this is a serious deal.
Russia reported that the plane was shot down during an Israeli attack on Latakia, when Israeli planes were using the Russian plane for cover and got it hit by air defenses. Israel insists Syria, a Russian ally, attacked the Russian plane directly, firing 20 missiles at the prop plane.
Al-Mayadeen TV reported on Friday that Russia still doesn’t accept Israel’s version of the events, though they did say that Russia’s closing of the airspace off the coast is totally unrelated. Israel maintains that they’ve shown Russia “proof” and that Russia accepts the excuse.
Israel is promising improved cooperation going forward, and while Russia didn’t seem to be looking for a major escalation, they do seem to want to make sure that they take this incident seriously enough that it doesn’t happen again.