Russia Registered Rocket Launches From French Frigate in Mediterranean

Hugh Fox
September 18, 2018

The military said the plane disappeared as four Israeli fighter jets were attacking targets in the area.

Russsia's Defence Ministry said the aircraft was returning to the Russian-run Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province when it disappeared from radar screens at about 11:00pm Moscow time.

According to the statement radars also recorded the launch of missiles from a French frigate stationed in the Mediterranean.

Earlier this month an Israeli military official broke with Tel Aviv's traditional "no comment" on strikes against Syria and acknowledged that Israel has struck at least 200 targets over the past 18 months with some 800 munitions.

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The US was alerted to the incident after Syrian forces broadcast an urgent search and rescue call over an global frequency, before another unidentified country sent word to the US about the type of aircraft and that the plane had been shot down.

The official also said that there were 14 servicemen on board and their fate is unknown.

Russian Federation pointed the finger at a French Navy ship, The Auvergne, which was in the area at the time it lost contact with its aircraft. A search and rescue operation is under way, co-ordinated through personnel located at the Hmeimim base, the ministry added.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, said more than 10 people had been injured as huge explosions were heard in the city.

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Syrian state media said earlier on Monday missiles were fired from the sea at several locations in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, but were intercepted by air defenses.

In an attempt to strike back against the Israelis, the Syrians launched extensive anti-aircraft fire, the official said and the Russian aircraft was hit. Israel reportedly conducted another raid on targets at Damascus International Airport on September 15, 2018, and had hit targets near the port city of Tartus, where Russian Federation has its only naval port on the Mediterranean, on September 4, 2018.

A spokesman for the Pentagon told CNN that the missiles were not fired by the USA military but would not speak as to who was behind the strikes.

Erdogan said that the deal "will prevent a humanitarian tragedy that could happen as a result of military action" and that the agreement between the two countries would bring "hope to the region".

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A French military source, however, denied any French involvement in disappearance of the Russian plane.

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