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Putin tells Netanyahu he rejects Israeli version of Syria plane downing


Moscow (AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday that he disagreed with the Israeli version of events concerning the downing of a Russian plane over Syria last week, the Kremlin said.

"The information provided by the Israeli military...runs counter to conclusions of the Russian defence ministry," the Kremlin said of the call, adding that the actions of the Israeli pilots had led to the plane being targeted by Syrian air defence systems.

"The Russian side proceeds from the fact that the actions by the Israeli air force were the main reason for the tragedy," a statement said.

Moscow said Netanyahu once again expressed condolences over the accident that killed 15 people.

Earlier Monday, Moscow announced new security measures to protect its military in Syria, including supplying the Syrian army with an S-300 air defence system and jamming radars of nearby warplanes.

Putin told Netanyahu that the measures had been taken to prevent any threat to Russian troops in Syria.

Putin last week had adopted a more conciliatory tone and said the downing was the result of "tragic accidental circumstances".

Last Monday, Syrian air defences mistakenly shot down a Russian military plane following an Israeli raid in Syria, killing 15 people.

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