Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered condolences over the death of the crew of the aircraft Il-20 downed in Syria.
“When people die, especially in such tragic circumstances, it is always a tragedy, a tragedy for us all, for the whole country and for the families of our dead friends. In this connection, I certainly offer my condolences to the relatives of those who got killed in the crash,’ Putin said at a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Putin stated that the Russian side is set to thoroughly investigate the case.
“Most certainly, we have to sort the case out most seriously. And our attitude to the tragedy is outlined in the Russian Defense Ministry’s statement,” he noted, adding he personally approved it.
“Russia’s retaliatory measures with regard to the Il-20 downing will be directed primarily at stepping up security of Russian military officers in Syria, our military facilities in the Syrian Arab Republic,” he said. “These will be the steps everyone will notice” he stressed.
“When it comes to comparing the Il-20 crash with other incidents, namely an attack on a Russian plane, when a Russian plane was downed by a Turkish military jet, this is still a different situation,” Putin noted, adding that the latest incident looks like “a chain of tragic accidental circumstances.”
The Il-20 aircraft has been downed by Syrian military forces after Israel jets put it under attack off the Syrian coast, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov stated. According to the spokesman, the Israeli jets deliberately created a dangerous situation in Latakia. He stressed that Israel’s aviation control systems could not but notice the Russian aircraft as it was landing.