Su-25 jet downed in Syria: Pilot, Ejects, Dies: 30 Terrorists Dead After Russia Retaliates

VIDEO RT: A Russian Su-25 jet has crashed in Idlib province in north-western Syria, the Russian Defence Ministry confirmed, adding that it was probably shot down by MANPAD.

The pilot ejected but was killed by militants on the ground, RT reported. The fighter jet reportedly was downed by a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD), the ministry said in a statement on Saturday according to RT.

Su-25 aircraft engage ground target in course of training, Kant airbase Kyrgyzstan

The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that an Su-25 close-support military aircraft was shot down over Syria on February 3 and the pilot was killed.

A ministry statement said the pilot ejected from the aircraft but was killed while resisting capture by rebels fighting against the Syrian government. The statement said preliminary evidence indicates the plane was shot down by a shoulder-launched antiaircraft missile.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said earlier that rebel forces had shot down an Su-25 in Idlib Province in northwestern Syria.

A jihadist group called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham claimed responsibility for the downing, saying a shoulder-launched missile had been used. The statement on the rebel-affiliated media channel Ibaa did not mention the Russian pilot.

Russian military correspondent Aleksandr Kots posted on social media a video purportedly showing rebel fighters picking over the burning wreckage of an Su-25.

The Russia-based, independent Conflict Intelligence Team posted photographs they say showed the dead body of the pilot and a paper recommending a man named Major Roman Fillipov for a state award that was allegedly filled out by Russian air group commander Lieutenant Colonel Sergei Aksyonov.

Federation Council member Frants Klintsevich, chairman of the Defense and Security Committee, said an investigation would be launched into the circumstances of the downing.
 “As I have said before,” Klintsevich told Interfax, “I am positive that the militants have [shoulder-launched antiaircraft weapons], and they have been supplied by the Americans via third countries.”

Vladimir Shamanov, chairman of the State Duma’s Defense Committee, said “there are over 1,000 U.S. instructors in Idlib, so it could be a provocation.”

Russia has been conducting military operations in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since September 2015.

The February 3 incident was the first time Syrian rebels have shot down a Russian warplane. In July 2016, rebels used a shoulder-launched missile to shoot down a Russian-made Syrian helicopter manned by a Russian crew.

In all, Russia has reported losing four jets and four helicopters during the Syrian campaign, including two jets that crashed while trying to land on the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and an Su-24 bomber that was shot down by Turkey in November 2015.

The Su-25 is a single-seat, twin-engine jet designed to provide close air support for troops on the ground.