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Jihadists shot down Russia’s SU-25 in Idlib.
Today marks the 20th day of Turkish Armed Forces' (TAF) "Operation Olive Branch" against Afrin, launched on January 19, 2018.
In light of developments within the region, with Syria’s army’s attack on the PYD, followed by the USA’s army’s retaliatory attack on Syria’s army, another development has caught attention.
A SU-25 plane belonging to Russia had been crashed in the city of Idlib in Syria on February 5. The Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham [Levant Liberation Committee], a group that formed out of Syria-based jihadist group Fateh al-Sham (formerly al-Nusra Front) had claimed responsibility for the attack.
The plane’s pilot, Filipov, “managed to secure a landing despite jihadists’ fire, but blew himself up with a hand grenade when he realized he was cornered,” had reported Russia’s pro-government newspaper Kommerstant.
Russia’s crashed plane: Turkey provided a guarantee
Putin signs decree posthumously awarding “Hero of Russia” title to the pilot. Photo: Sputnik
Another detail drew attention in the piece in Kommerstant. An anonymous source speaking to the newspaper reported the Su-25 had been flying at that altitude because Turkey had provided a safety guarantee in the region.
The same source emphasized to the newspaper that Turkey was in control of the region for relieving tension in Idlib, and stated: "Military officers might have relied on this guarantee when planning the flight mission. The jihadists were never confirmed to be in possession of MANPADs, but Russia’s Air and Space Force must take this situation into account now as well.”
Syria’s airspace was allegedly closed to F-16s belonging to the TAF following the crash.
The general staff’s fact sheets featured no information on TAF jets’ air bombardments among other details about the operation.
Flights stopped for the aerial defense system?
“This has signified an interruption to TAF’s air strikes, which are one of the TAF’s crucial tools in the Afrin offensive,” commented journalist Metehan Demir on the subject.
Russia’s installation of a new electronic aerial defense system against shoulder-launched missiles aimed at its planes was the reason flights were stopped, according to Hürriyet Ankara correspondent Uğur Ergan’s news piece published in the newspaper today.
“The Afrin airspace is expected to be opened to Turkey’s fighter aircraft once Russia has finished work on the installation. No problems were reported regarding the flight of drones,” the Hürriyet piece read. (PT/PU)
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