“This is for our guys!”, yelled a Russian pilot before blowing himself up with a grenade. Major Roman Filipov was flying in Sukhoi 25SM over Syria when a surface- to- air missile hit his plane leading him to eject. However, the pilot had other plans to avoid capture by the enemy ‘Jihadists’, reports The Sun.
The 33- year- old pilot was opened fire at by the rebels but he did manage to land safely with the help of a parachute, as per new footage.
The previous reports suggesting Filipov’s capture and killing by the rebels has been proven faulty and now it is clear that he had in fact exploded his grenade.
The pilot while still in radio contact with his Khmeimim base has apparently killed two rebels with his stechkin handgun but knowing that there isn’t any way out for him, he pulled the pin on his grenade giving his life.
To retrieve the pilot’s remains, Syrian and Russian forces were reportedly present on the ground at the moment of incident while the rebel footage also captured him yelling: “This is for our guys”.
Filipov, from Vladivostok, has been posthumously nominated for the Kremlin’s highest honour, the Hero of Russia, as per reports.
The pilot had been shot down, saying: “A Russian Su-25 aircraft crashed during a flight over the Idlib de-escalation zone, as confirmed by the Russia’s defence ministry.
“The pilot had enough time to announce he had ejected into the zone, under the control of al-Nusra Front fighters. The pilot was killed in fighting against terrorists.”
Assad’s army has been targeting Syrian rebels in the area of Idlib province with the help of Russian aircraft.
Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said: “Rebel factions shot down a Sukhoi 25. The Russian pilot came down in a parachute, before being captured.”
On social media, the Syrian opposition showed their statement was the wreckage of the plane and the body of the pilot surrounded by rebels.
Abdul Rahman added: “There have been dozens of Russian air strikes in the area over the past 24 hours. This plane was also carrying out raids there.”
The ground- to –air missile that downed the plane was launched by the Syrian rebel ground troops as apparent by one of the clips. Moscow is likely to trigger a furious response for the attack anytime.
There have been little losses for Russian air force since September 2015 with two Russian fighter pilots shot at, who allegedly ignored warnings invading the Turkish airspace.
Earlier in November 2015, a diplomatic crisis was triggered between Moscow and Ankara after Turkey took down a Russian military aircraft. Rebel groups of Idlib also killed five Russian soldiers targeting their helicopters in August 2016.