February 17
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The Israeli military continue to insist that Israeli fighter jets did not use the Russian Ilyushin-20 plane as cover and were already in Israel’s airspace when it was downed, TASS reported.

"The IAF did not hide behind any aircraft and that the Israeli aircraft were in Israeli airspace at the time of the downing of the Russian plane," Israel Defense Forces said on their official Twitter account.

IDF also pledged that the safety of Russian servicemen in in Syria is a major element of planning any operations in that country.

"The safety and well-being of the Russian troops who operate in Syria are a focal component in every approval of any activity by senior officials in the IDF and in Israel," IDF said on the official Twitter account.

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