In this 2015 photo, a Russian Il-20 electronic intelligence plane takes off from the Russian air base in Hemeimeem, Syria. An Il-20 aircraft was shot down Tuesday by a Syrian missile over the Mediterranean Sea, killing all 15 people on board. (Photo: AP)
MOSCOW, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- The recent downing of a Russian military plane in Syria requires further investigation and an explanation from Israel, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
An Il-20 surveillance plane with 15 people on board was mistakenly downed by a Syrian missile on Monday, when Israel was conducting an airstrike on Syria's Latakia province at the same time.
The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that using the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems was an "irresponsible action" by the Israeli army and led to the accident.
"For my part, I believe that the Israeli pilots who created the threat resulting in the destruction of the Russian aircraft ... behaved unprofessionally, to say the least," the ministry spokeswoman said at a news briefing.
Russian and foreign media reported earlier that an Israeli Defense Force delegation led by the commander of the Israeli Air Force would visit Moscow Thursday to provide an explanation.