Russian Su-25 jet downed in Syria, pilot killed - Defense Ministry

Feb 04, 2018, 02:10
Russian Su-25 jet downed in Syria, pilot killed - Defense Ministry

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime recently resumed airstrikes on rebel-held areas such as Idlib province, prompting tens of thousands of civilians to flee their homes, according to United Nations officials. The pilot reported that he had ejected by parachute, and he was later killed on the ground. He was shot and killed when he resisted capture by opening fire from his pistol on the al-Qaeda-linked militants who tried to seize him alive. One social media video posting showed a body said to be that of the pilot.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has released footage of a precision strike targeting terrorists in Idlib, north-west Syria, in retaliation for the earlier downing of an Su-25 jet and the killing of its pilot. The pilot was killed while fighting against terrorists.

Initial findings suggest the plane was hit by a portable ground-to-air missile. The pilot ejected but was killed in an exchange of gunfire, the Russian defense ministry reported. One of the armed men shouts: "He is Russian".

"On February 3, 2018, a Sukhoi 25 Russian fighter jet crashed when flying over the Idlib de-escalation zone".

It happened in a rebel-held area near Idlib in the north of the country. Residents said Russian warplanes were responsible.

Syrian government forces and their allies launched a push into Idlib six weeks ago, inching closer to a key highway that connects Syria's two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo. This plane was also carrying out raids there, ' said Abdel Rahman.

The scenario where a US-backed, US-supplied jihadist group in Syria uses USA weapons to shoot down a Russian plane and then murders the pilot on the ground should be seen as a near-nightmare escalation, drawing the United States and Russia terrifyingly closer to direct conflict.

In August 2016, five Russian soldiers were killed after their helicopter was shot down by rebel groups in Idlib.

Russian air force losses have been rare since it began its Syria campaign in September 2015.

The U.N. says more than 270,000 people have been displaced in Idlib because of the government onslaught since December 15.

A copy of the final statement did not mention the fate of Moscow's ally President Bashar al-Assad.

But the main opposition group, the Syrian Negotiations Committee, boycotted the meeting as did representatives of Syria's Kurdish minority.

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