U.S. President Donald Trump has pointed to the Syrian government forces as solely responsible for the Russian plane shot down in which 15 soldiers were killed, while the U.S. State Department has described the action as an “unfortunate event.

The Kremlin initially blamed Israel for its “hostile actions”, but has since retracted

US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, called the shooting down of a Russian airplane by the Syrian armed forces “complicates the situation” between Moscow and Damascus.

“I think it just made it more complicated for the families of the Russians who died there and I think it made it more complicated between the (Syrian) regime and Russia. But it doesn’t affect us in any way,” Mattis said at the Pentagon.  

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., brief reporters on the current U.S. air strikes on Syria during a joint press conference at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Apr. 13, 2018. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., brief reporters on the current U.S. air strikes on Syria during a joint press conference at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Apr. 13, 2018. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

Syrian air defenses opened fire on Israeli fighter-bombers that had attacked their territory, but they missed the target and ended up knocking down a Russian aircraft that was in the area and caused the death of fifteen Russian soldiers.

Mattis also addressed the situation in Idleb province, where the last bastion of the Syrian opposition in which jihadists are also sheltered.

“It is one of the most complex problems and one of the most complicated scenarios at the moment. I’m sure it’s not all solved yet,” Mattis said.

The offensive on Idleb has unleashed alarms among the international community because it could generate a serious humanitarian crisis and because of the repeated accusations between the different sides about the possible use of chemical weapons, which has led the White House to warn that such an action would have consequences.