The Atlantic

Russia’s Tangled Syria Policy May Prove Unsustainable

In the chaotic skies over Syria, one ally shot down a Russian plane, and Moscow blamed another.
Source: Yuri Kadobnov / Pool / Reuters

A Russian military plane was shot down over the Mediterranean on Monday—an incident that, despite being the direct result of antiaircraft fire from its Syrian ally, Moscow blamed on Israel, another of its de facto allies. The incident shows not only the clashing tangle of competing interests in Syria as the civil war nears its end, but also how easily that dynamic can rupture carefully cultivated relationships.

At issue is the Russian Ilyushin-20 aircraft shot downon Monday by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile, an incident thatkilled 15 Russian military personnel. Russia’s Defense Ministry said the aircraft was shot down after four Israeli F-16s flew into Syria.

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