Russian military jet vanishes from radar over Syria

"After the radar incident, 35 kilometers from the Syrian coast, a Russian Il-20 was lost, carrying 14 servicemen on board".

TRT World's Editor-at-large Ahmet Alioglu breaks down the possible theories of what may have happened to the missing Russian aircraft.

The state media reported that missiles targeted Latakia and Homs and Hama.

A USA official said Washington believed the aircraft, which is an Il-20 turbo-prop plane used for electronic reconnaissance, was inadvertently shot down by anti-aircraft artillery operated by Moscow's ally, the Syrian government.

Syrian state media said earlier on Monday missiles were fired from the sea at several locations in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, but were intercepted by air defenses.

Russia's defence ministry says one of its military aircraft with 14 people on board disappeared from radar screens over the Mediterranean at the same time as Israeli and French forces were mounting aerial attacks on targets in Syria.

The Russian defence ministry also said that rockets had been launched from the French Navy's frigate, The Auvergne, which was in the area at the time.

On Saturday, Syrian air defences downed several missiles that Israel fired near Damascus airport, state media reported.

Russian military forces have launched a search operation. An unidentified military official was quoted as saying Syrian air defences intercepted some missiles heading for the provincial capital of Latakia from the sea.

A second USA official told CNN that the incident occurred during an Israeli attack on sites in Syria.

Air traffic controllers at the Russian air base in Latakia "lost contact" with the aircraft Monday evening "during the attack of Israeli F-16 fighters on Latakia", rt.com quoted the Russian defense ministry as saying.

This month, Israel acknowledged having carried out more than 200 strikes in war-ravaged Syria over the past 18 months, mainly against Iranian targets.

According to the Russian defense ministry, the attacks started around 10 pm local time and lasted one hour, targeting a power station as well as two facilities belonging to the Syrian military. It is unclear if its air defence batteries were also engaged in the defence, or if the aircraft was hit by "friendly fire" from nearby Syrian forces.