Alastari Tancred and Charlie Moore — Mail Online Feb 3, 2018
Rebel fighters in Syria have shot down a Russian plane and killed its pilot. Dramatic video shows the Sukhoi 25 plummeting out of the sky after it was hit in the north-western province of Idlib.
Another video then shows jubilant rebels celebrating as the wreckage burns on the ground, sending a huge plume of black smoke into the air.
The pilot managed to eject and parachute to the ground before being captured. He was shot and killed when he resisted capture by opening fire from his pistol on the al-Qaeda-linked militants who tried to seize him alive.
Russia’s defence ministry confirmed the pilot had been shot down, saying: ‘A Russian Su-25 aircraft crashed during a flight over the Idlib de-escalation zone.
‘The pilot had enough time to announce he had ejected into the zone, under the control of al-Nusra Front fighters.
‘The pilot was killed in fighting against terrorists.’
The ministry added that 30 militants had been killed in air strikes carried out in the Idlib area.
A video circulating on social media shows a lifeless body of a man, his face stained with blood, as bearded gunmen stand around him. One of the armed men shouts: ‘He is Russian.’
The pilot was later named on social media as Major Roman Filipov.