Syrian militants of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham shot down a Russian fighter jet in Idlib city in northwestern Syria on Saturday, according to the Russian Defence Ministry. The pilot of the aircraft, a Sukhoi Su-25, was killed when the militants tried to capture him.
According to the statement by the Russian Ministry of Defence, “the pilot managed to report the ejection in the area controlled by the militants of Jabhat al-Nusra, but later he died fighting the terrorists.”
On Saturday, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied US accusations of using chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta near Damascus against the opposition that controls the region. The ministry described these accusations as lies based on no evidence.
On Friday, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis said that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons, such as chlorine gas.
“We are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use, (but) I don’t have the evidence,” said Mattis.
“We think that they did not carry out what they said they would do back when in the previous administration when they were caught using it. Obviously, they didn’t, because they used it again during our administration, and that gives us a lot of reason to suspect them, and now we have other reports from the battlefield, from people who claim it’s been used,” Mattis also said.
He added, “we do not have evidence of it, but we are not refuting them, we are looking for evidence of it, since clearly we are dealing with the Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlaw actions.”