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Russia blames Israel after military plane shot down near Syria

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By Daniel Bellamy  with Reuters
Russia blames Israel after military plane shot down near Syria

The Russian Il-20 plane had 14 people on board as it was coming in to land at Russia's airbase in Syria late on Monday night.

The fate of the 14 is not yet known - Russia's defence ministry says the search for them is still ongoing.

Even though it was shot down off Syria's Mediterranean coast by Syrian anti-aircraft fire Moscow is blaming Israel.

It says Israeli jets flying in the same area near Latakia in the north put the plane directly in the line of the anti-aircraft fire.

On Tuesday Israel's ambassador in Mosow was summoned to Russia's foreign ministry.

Israel is know to have bombed Iranian military positions in Syria in the past but has not yet commented on the accusation. Iran, its arch enemy, is also supporting Syria's regime.

The seven year old war has sucked in many international powers, including the United States and Turkey.

In February Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, saying it had entered Turkish airspace.

Russia's military has turned the Syrian conflict around for President Bashar Assad, mostly through bombing rebel held positions.

But on Tuesday a Turkish presidential spokesman said the Syrian opposition would remain in their last major rebel stronghold, in Idlib Province, as part of an agreement signed between Turkey and Russia.