By Umar Farooq
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed sympathies Tuesday for the lives lost when a Russian military airplane was downed by Syrian regime forces, emphasizing the need for a political solution to the conflict.
"Yesterday’s unfortunate incident reminds us of the need to find permanent, peaceful, and political resolutions to the many overlapping conflicts in the region and the danger of tragic miscalculation in Syria’s crowded theater of operations," Pompeo said in a statement.
The Russian military said 15 lives were lost when the plane was shot down above Syria.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu claimed Israel was responsible, which Israel has denied. The Israeli army blamed Hezbollah and Iran for the incident.
Pompeo went on to say the conflict in Syria should be solved in line with UN resolution 2254, which calls for a political settlement and a cease-fire.
He also emphasized the need to "end Iran’s provocative transit of dangerous weapon systems through Syria, which are a threat to the region."