The Syrian Air Force pilots from the SU-24 aircraft shot down by the Israeli Air Defenses have been identified to Al-Masdar News. Colonel Hassan Hadi of Sweida and Colonel Tariq Qanaa of Dara’a operated the aircraft that reportedly entered Israeli airspace near the Golan Heights. The pilots ejected from the plane and landed in the Al-Quneitra Governate of Syria, once the Israeli Patriot Missile struck the rear of the aircraft.
According to a military source from the SAA, the plane was within Syrian airspace and never crossed the U.N. demilitarized zone into the Israeli controlled Golan Heights. Furthermore, civilians in the Golan Heights confirmed to Syrian military intelligence that the location was within the Syrian borders. The pilots were later escorted by the civilian-led National Defense Forces to safety in the provincial capital, where they sought medical attention.
Colonel Hassan Hadi has since returned to the Rif Dimashq Governate after being treated for minor injuries related to the crash. Sadly, Colonel Tariq Qanaa was unable to recover from his wounds; he perished yesterday at a local military hospital in Al-Quneitra. Colonel Qanaa was one of eleven members of his family to serve valiantly in the Syrian Armed Forces.