Russian military plane vanishes from radar over Syria

"Connection has been lost with the crew of a Russian Il-20 plane over the Mediterranean Sea 35 kilometres from the Syrian coast as it was returning to the Hmeimim airbase", the Russian defence ministry said early Tuesday.

The deal marked a significant agreement between the two leaders and effectively delays an offensive by Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies, one that Turkey fears would create a humanitarian crisis near its border.

Explosions seen in the Syrian city of Latakia after an attack on a military facility nearby on September 17, 2018.

Meanwhile, a USA official with knowledge of the incident claimed the Russian plane had been inadvertently shot down by the Syrian anti-aircraft artillery after the Syrians came under attack by Israeli missiles. A military official quoted then on state media said Syrian air defences intercepted some missiles coming from the sea.

A Russian military Il-20 plane carrying 14 service members disappeared from radars on Monday night as four Israeli jet fighters were attacking state institutions in Syria's Latakia.

Moscow's RT network reported that Russian military forces had registered the launch of missiles from a French frigate in the Mediterranean around around the time the plane lost contact.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the explosions, saying the target appeared to be an ammunition depot, part of the compound of the state Institute for Technical Industries.

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Syrian statements have blamed Israel for launching a missile strike. Local sources say the target was an Organization for Technical Industries - a subdivision of the Syrian Ministry of Defense, linked to missile and chemical weapons development.

Israel does not regularly comment on alleged strikes in Syria.

One of the missiles fell in an open area to the west of central Homs city causing a fire in an orchard, Ikhbariya TV said.

During the more than seven-year conflict in neighbouring Syria, Israel has grown deeply alarmed by the expanding clout of Iran, a Syrian government ally.

RIA Novosti news agency, citing a security source, said that Syrian anti-defence systems had countered a rocket attack.

Russian Federation has generally turned a blind eye to Israeli attacks on Iranian forces in Syria and the two countries' militaries maintain a hotline to avoid mistakes.

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