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Israel blames Syria for Russian aircrew deaths but ‘expresses sorrow’

In a rare statement detailing its operations over Syria, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said: “Israel expresses sorrow for the deaths of the aircrew members of the Russian plane that was downed due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire. “Israel holds the Assad regime, whose military shot down the Russian plane, fully responsible for this incident.” The statement also laid blame on Iran and the Lebanese Shia militant group, Hezbollah, two other allies of the Syrian government. The Israeli government is concerned by what it calls Iran’s “military entrenchment” in Syria, as well as shipments of Iranian weapons to the Hezbollah. The IDF said its jets were targeting Syrian military facilities “from which…