Putin blames “tragic circumstances” for downing of Russian plane

Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to tone down his Defense Minister’s harsh condemnation of Israel for “provoking” the downing of the Russian IL-20 aircraft Monday night. Instead, he spoke of “a chain of tragic circumstances,” which led to the plane being shot down by Syrian missile defense while targeting Israeli jets raiding a Syrian/Iranian target in Latakia. In his remarks, the Russian president said that Israel did not shoot the plane down, but the circumstances would be probed in depth. His response would be to boost security for Russian troops stationed in Syria, promising “steps that everyone will notice.” This was taken as pointing to the swift and conspicuous deployment of more advanced air defense systems to the country.

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