The Russian Defence Ministry has doubled down on its claim that Israel was to blame for the downing of a Russian aircraft off the Syrian coast, saying that the incident had been caused by "misleading information."
Fifteen Russian personnel were killed on Monday when their aircraft was shot down by Syrian missiles after an Israeli jet on a bombing mission manoeuvred behind the reconnaissance plane to take cover, according to Moscow's version of events.
Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov was quoted by the TASS news agency on Sunday as saying that the Israeli Air Force had provided "misleading information" about their F-16 jets' targets.
This "made it impossible to direct the Il-20 aircraft to a safe area," he said, adding that his ministry has a record of the conversation between Russian personnel and an Israeli officer.
Israel notified the Russians via the countries' deconfliction channel of the approaching attack just one minute before, according to the spokesman.
The data points "to either lack of professionalism or criminal negligence," Konashenkov said, adding that the Israeli Air Force was "solely" to blame for the deaths.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously downplayed the Russian military's accusation of Israeli responsibility and attributed the incident to "tragic circumstances."
The Israel delegation vehemently denied the allegations on Friday and accused Syria of "recklessly" shooting down the plane.
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