A Russian military aircraft Su-25 has been shot down in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province on Saturday, the country’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
“The pilot managed to report the ejection in the area controlled by the militants of Jabhat al-Nusra, but later he died fighting the terrorists,” the Russian ministry statement said.
According to preliminary information, it added, the plane was shot down by a portable air defence missile system.
Russia and Turkey are making efforts to rescue the body of the Russian pilot, the ministry added.
The group Tahrir al-Sham released a statement on social media quoting a commander in charge of its air defences as saying one of its fighters had hit the jet with a shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile, during an air raid over the city of Saraqeb in the northwestern province of Idlib. Tahrir al-Sham includes the group formerly known as the Nusra Front, which served as al Qaeda’s Syrian branch.