Russian fighter jet shot down, pilot killed in Syria’s Idlib
“The pilot managed eject into an area controlled by the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, but later died fighting the terrorists,” the Russian ministry statement has said, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
In a statement released on social media, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group claimed it had shot down the plane using a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile.
The U.S. State Department said it had seen reports about the incident and allegations that the U.S. provided missiles to groups in Syria.
“The United States has never provided MANPAD missiles to any group in Syria, and we are deeply concerned that such weapons are being used,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Feb. 3.
“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.”
According to preliminary information, the plane was shot down by a portable air defense missile system, the statement added.
Russia and Turkey are making efforts to rescue the body of the Russian pilot, the ministry also said.