Israeli air force chief to give Moscow findings on Russian plane downing

Israel's air force commander will lead a delegation to Moscow to share the military's findings on the Syrian downing of a Russian warplane. (AFP)
Updated 20 September 2018
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Israeli air force chief to give Moscow findings on Russian plane downing

  • Israel's air force commander will lead a delegation to Moscow
  • On Monday, Syrian air defences shot down a Russian military plane, killing 15 soldiers

JERUSALEM: Israel's air force commander will lead a delegation to Moscow to share the military's findings on the Syrian downing of a Russian warplane following Israeli air strikes, the army said Wednesday.
The delegation, led by Major General Amikam Norkin, would on Thursday "present the situation report... regarding all aspects" of the incident, the army said in a statement.
"In addition, they will present the continuous Iranian attempts to transfer strategic weapons to the Hezbollah terror organisation and to establish an Iranian military presence in Syria."
On Monday, Syrian air defences shot down a Russian military plane, killing 15 soldiers, after Israeli missiles had struck the coastal region of Latakia.
The Russian military accused Israeli pilots of using "the Russian plane as a cover, exposing it to fire from Syrian air defences".
Israel denied the allegations, saying its jets were already back in Israeli airspace when Syrian forces launched the missiles that hit the Russian plane.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his "sorrow" to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Tuesday, offering to assist Moscow in the investigation.
Putin had said the incident was the result of "tragic accidental circumstances," warning Netanyahu against carrying out such operations in the future and pledging to beef up security for Russian forces in Syria.
Accompanying Norkin on the Thursday visit will be officers from the intelligence and operations directorates, the army said in its Wednesday statement.


Lebanon says it foiled plots to stage attacks in May

Updated 36 min 56 sec ago
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Lebanon says it foiled plots to stage attacks in May

  • The attacks were planned from Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province and were timed to coincide with Lebanon’s general election, the interior minister said
  • Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces monitored the plot and thwarted it, he said

BEIRUT: Lebanon foiled a plot by militants based in Syria to carry out two attacks this year against places of worship and Lebanese army positions, Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk said on Monday.
The attacks were planned from Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province and were timed to coincide with Lebanon’s general election that took place in May, he said in a televised news conference.
Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces monitored the plot and thwarted it, he said. The country remains safe for both residents and visitors, he added.
Lebanese authorities say they have disrupted or foiled numerous attacks in recent years, including some linked to the conflict in neighboring Syria. From 2013-2016 militants struck Lebanon repeatedly with bomb attacks
Idlib province is part of the last remaining stronghold in Syria outside government control and much of it is held by extremist rebel groups including the country’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate.
Lebanon shares power among its religious sects and has maintained a “dissociation” policy of staying out of regional conflicts.
However, Lebanon’s Iran-backed Shiite group Hezbollah has played a key military role in Syria supporting President Bashar Assad against mostly Sunni rebels seeking to oust him.