Hezbollah leader, defying Israel, says group has 'precision missiles'

Hezbollah leader, defying Israel, says group has 'precision missiles'

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"No one can eliminate anyone in Lebanon and we must preserve the atmosphere of dialogue and calm", he added.

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The Kremlin is attempting to tamp down tensions following the downing of a Russian Ilyushin Il-20M Coot-A intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli raid on Assad regime forces. The Russian government stressed that the incident would have no impact on the fledging Idlib deal, but warned Israel of reprisals and summoned its envoy in Moscow.

The IDF also promised to cooperate with Russian Federation to help investigate the incident.

On Wednesday, Putin was informed that Israel's air force commander would lead a delegation to Moscow to share the military's findings on the Syrian downing of a Russian warplane following Israeli air strikes.

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Thursday accused Israeli pilots of "unprofessionalism" and said that Russia still needs to hear more "explanations from Israel". Russian Federation also claimed that Israel had warned it of the operation only one minute beforehand.

Hours after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held Syria responsible for the fatal crash of Russia's Il-20 aircraft, President Vladimir Putin tried to defuse the situation by calling the incident a tragic chance event.

In a Tuesday phone call to Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was ready to provide Moscow with all relevant information regarding the incident, according to a statement issued by Netanyahu's office. It added that Israeli planes were already in Israeli airspace when Syria fired the missiles that hit the Russian plane.

However, he insisted the Russian plane had been felled by "extensive and inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft (fire)".

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a telephone call with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman, stating that Israel was exclusively to blame for the downing of Russia's Il-20 aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea.

Israeli satellite operator ImageSat International (iSi) published satellite photos emerge aftermath of the recent airstrikes conducted by Israeli jets on the coastal city of Lattakia.

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Russia might have to take additional actions such as improving the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems on both Russian and Syrian operated systems.

The incident was the worst case of friendly fire between the two allies since Russia's game-changing military intervention in September 2015.

This mechanism has so far proved itself, but Israel must avoid complacency.

Israel has fought several conflicts against Hezbollah, the last in 2006.

Hezbollah has thousands of fighters in Syria supporting President Bashar Assad's forces in the civil war.

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