The Russian Ministry of Defense revealed the preliminary information on the incident, saying that the aircraft might be shot down with the help of a man-portable air defense system. The pilot survived the crash, but was killed during a fight with terrorists.

“The plane was flying around the de-escalation zone of Idlib,” the military stated.

The ministry has revealed the preliminary information on possible reasons behind the downing, saying that the plane was supposedly shot down from a portable anti-aircraft missile system.

The Russian Defense Ministry stated that the pilot ejected himself from the downing aircraft and managed to survive, but was killed during a battle with terrorists.

“The pilot reported on a bailout in an area controlled by rebels Jabhat al-Nusra. When conducting a fight with terrorists, the pilot died,” the Defense Ministry said.

According to the ministry, Russia and Turkey, peace guarantor in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone, are taking all possible efforts to return the body of the killed pilot.

During the two-years long military operation in Syria, Russia lost four aircraft and four helicopters. According to Russian Defense Minister Yury Borisov, the country’s air forces used modernized Su-25SM ground attack aircraft are being used in Syria.

The Su-25 attack aircraft is designed to destroy small-size mobile and fixed ground objects, as well as low-speed air targets.

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