Russian military jet with 14 on board vanishes

Moscow: A Russian military jet carrying 14 servicemen vanished from radar over the Mediterranean Sea late Monday as Syria came under attack by Israeli missiles, the defence ministry said.

“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 fate of the military personnel is “unknown,” the ministry said in a statement which was carried by Russian news agencies. A search for the plane was underway.

The ministry said that the jet had gone off the radar around 11pm Monday (midnight UAE) during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets over Syrian infrastructure in the province of Latakia, a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad.

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

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