Russian Pilot Allegedly ‘Shot Dead By Syrian Rebels’ As He Parachuted Down

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This morning we reported on a Russian military plane that was shot down by Turkish warplanes on their border with Syria.

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A Syrian rebel group has now claimed one of the pilots was dead on landing, after a spokesman for the group said they shot him.

Jahed Ahmad, of the 10th Brigade in the Coast, told Reuters footage of a pilot who appears to be dead, and wearing Russian airforce gear, was genuine.

He said the two pilots attempted to parachute into Syrian government-held land, but came under fire from the group. According to the rebels one of the pilots was shot by them, and the fate of the other is still unknown.

The video is yet to be verified, but it appears to show Syrian rebel fighters standing around a body chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’, The Independent reported.

After the incident, Turkey claimed the Russian plane ignored repeated warnings to leave its airspace. Russia disputes this, though, saying the aircraft never left Syria, with President Putin calling the incident a ‘stab in the back’ from Turkey.

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Both Turkey and Russia dispatched helicopters to search for the pilots, but local rebel forces – who’ve been targeted repeatedly by Syrian and Russian bombing raids recently – were also hunting them.

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According to The Independent the incident is the first time the armed forces of a NATO member have shot down a Russian or Soviet aircraft since the 1950s. The worry now is that the former Cold War enemies could become involved in an escalating military situation.

WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGERY:

https://youtu.be/Ydw14n8OYdI?t=5s


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Independent

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