Damascus, February 4: Provoking more hostility in the conflict-torn country Syria, Syrian rebels have shot down a Russian warplane in north-western Idlib province on Saturday. As per Russian Defense Ministry, the jet was brought down with a portable anti-aircraft missile system. Since 2015, when Russia launched its activity in Syria, this is the first time such incident took place.
Following the attack, the pilot who initially survived also died fighting terrorists. The Russian Sukhoi-25 ground-attack aircraft has been shot down in a rebel-held area. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly linked to al-Qaeda, claimed the responsibility of the attack. The group said in a social media post that the plane had been carrying out an air raid over the nearby city of Saraqeb.
"The Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides in Syria alongside the Turkish side, responsible for the Idlib de-escalation zone, are taking steps to retrieve the Russian pilot’s body," Russian Defense Ministry said. At least 30 people were killed in the mentioned bombardments, the ministry gave the information.
Russia, Iran, and Turkey agreed for setting up of de-escalation zones which include the Idlib province. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is the main adversary in the area with a stronghold there.