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Syrian Fighter Jet Targeted by Al-Nusra’s US-Made Missile

28 December 2017 22:26

 

The Russian defense ministry revealed on Thursday that the Syrian army’s fighter jet was shot down by al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board) militants in Hama province, using an American missile.

The Arabic-language al-Hadath news website quoted Alexander Ivanov, the spokesman of Russia’s airbase at Humeimim, as saying that al-Nusra has used a US-made missile to bring down the Syrian fighter jet on Tuesday.

The al-Nusra’s possession of US-made weapons indicates that Washington is supplying the terrorist group with different aid with the aim of preventing reestablishment of stability in Syria, he added.

A Syrian military jet was shot down by militants in Hama province, the Syrian state broadcaster confirmed, adding that a pilot was killed in the attack.

“The military aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Hama after it was shot down by terrorists; the pilot was killed,” the Syrian state-run SANA news agency quoted a source as saying. The plane, identified as a L-39 Albatros jet trainer, was shot down by terrorists’ anti-aircraft machineguns, a source within the Syrian opposition told Al-Masdar news.

It was not immediately clear which militant group was responsible for the attack, but the so-called Free Idlib Army, an offshoot of the Free Syrian Army, claimed responsibility on social media and in a statement to Turkish Anadolu news agency. Reuters also reported that Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, had also claimed responsibility.

A video later emerged, purportedly showing the aircraft pilot’s dead body lying in the back of a truck, with blood around his neck. The footage appears to show a body surrounded by a group of armed men, who are described in the Telegram channel Directorate 4 as members of Jeish al-Nukhba, a militant group based in Idlib and Hama.

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