Russian Jet Shot Down By Syrian Rebels

On February 3, 2018, a Russian Su-25 jet was shot down in Syria. This type of jet is a single-seat, twin-engine that is designed to provide close air support. According to the Russian government, it was shot down by a shoulder launched anti-aircraft missile. The pilot lost his life. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that the pilot was killed while resisting capture by rebels fighting against the Syrian government. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (London based) confirmed that rebel forces had shot down a Su-25 in Idlib Province in northwestern Syria. The Jihadist group (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) claimed responsibility. It confirmed the Russians’ statement: they used a shoulder missile system to shoot down the jet.

The independent Conflict Intelligence Team (Russian Based), has  posted photographs that they claim show the dead body of the pilot and a document recommending a man by the name of Major Roman Fillipov for a state award. The document was allegedly filled out by Russian air group commander Lieutenant Colonel Sergei Aksyonov. Novaya Gazeta has gotten unconfirmed reports from the Defense Ministry that confirmine the pilot was Filippov. According to a newspaper, he was a Ukrainian pilot from Crimea. This incident also marked the first time Syrian rebels have shot down a Russian warplane.

Note: In July 2016, rebels used a shoulder-launched missile to shoot down a Russian made Syrian helicopter manned by a Russian crew.

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Picture thanks to Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) Twitter)  https://twitter.com/CITeam_en/status/959827075044691968?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rferl.org%2Fa%2Frussia-confirms-warplane-downed-syria-pilot-dead%2F29016510.html

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Frants Klintsevich (Federation Council member/Chairman of the Defense and Security Committee), stated that an investigation would be launched to look into this incident.

Klintsevich– “As I have said before, I am positive that the militants have [shoulder-launched anti-aircraft weapons], and they have been supplied by the Americans via third countries.”

The American Government has however been quick to respond. The U.S. State Department said it was “deeply concerned” at reports of shoulder-launched anti-aircraft systems being used. The department has also denied the United States had ever supplied these types of weapons. “The United States has never provided MANPAD missiles to any group in Syria, and we are deeply concerned that such weapons are being used,” –spokeswoman Heather Nauert

“The solution to the violence is a return to the Geneva process as soon as possible and we call on Russia to live up to its commitments in that regards,” –spokeswoman Heather Nauert

Other Russian Losses Since Start of Campaign (September 2015)

  • 4 Jets: Two crashed while trying to land on the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier
  • One Su-24 bomber shot down by Turkey in November 2015
  • 4 helicopters

About Nick

Nick is an author at holdencasey.com. He writes for all categories, but his specialty is defense and law. He normally writes from an unbiased viewpoint, but is known to provide a conservative opinion.
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