Moments ago, several Islamist factions claimed to have shot down a
MiG-21 MiG-23 fighter jet in the northern countryside of Idlib.
Ahrar al-Sham said one of its anti-aircraft units shot down the warplane utilizing a homemade Manpad system known as ‘Olive one’.
Upon enquiring with a military source based in Damascus, it was confirmed to Al-Masdar News that the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) had indeed lost contact to a low-flying plane during sorties in Idlib province.
The source also stressed that the
MiG-21 MiG-23 was not shot down but rather suffered from technical difficulties that caused the warplane to rapidly drop in altitude.
A leaked conversation obtained by Al-Masdar News between the pilot and aerial command center revealed that radar issues had caused the plane to be unable to turn back.
Remarkably, the Syrian pilot managed to not only eject from the fighter jet but also landed inside Turkey at Hatay province. He is believed to be in Turkish custody.
Islamist militants based in Idlib have previously executed numerous Syrian and Russian pilots once their jets were downed over the rebel-held areas.
Another photograph from this evening: