- Screenshot/Jaish al-Nasr
- A Russian Su-25 was reportedly shot down in Syria on Saturday, and the pilot may have been killed by Syrian rebels.
- Russia has increased bombing runs in Idlib in the last month, which has resulted in more than one hundred civilian deaths and displaced more than 100,000 people.
Syrian rebels shot down a Russian Su-25 in Idlib province on Saturday, and then killed the pilot on the ground, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Jaish al-Nasr, a faction in the Free Syrian Army, released footage of the Su-25 getting shot down, and more video has appeared of the wreckage.
The defense ministry said the Su-25 was shot down by a man-portable air-defense system, and that the pilot safely ejected before being killed by local forces.
The rebels tried to capture the pilot, but they shot and killed him when he fired at them with his pistol, the Associated Press reported. Graphic videos and images appearing to be the pilot, who was reportedly found without a parachute, have since emerged.
The Russian Defense Ministry later said it conducted airstrikes where the Su-25 was shot down, and killed at least 30 rebels, according to RT.
— Michael A. Horowitz (@michaelh992) February 3, 2018
Russia and the Syrian regime have increased airstrikes in Idlib and Eastern Ghouta in the last month, two of the Syrian rebels’ last remaining strongholds.
Scores of adults and children were killed and wounded in Idlib, and about 100,000 people were displaced in the first two weeks of January alone. At least 177 civilians were killed and more than 800 were also wounded in Eastern Ghouta in that same period.
— Qalaat Al Mudiq (@QalaatAlMudiq) February 3, 2018
Moscow later accused the US of helping the rebels target its air base, and even accused Ukraine of making the explosives.
The US and Ukraine strongly denied the claims.