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Russian MPs: US-Supplied Missile Downed Jet Over Syria

The downed Sukhoi-25 fighter jet in the Syrian city of SaraqibThe downed Sukhoi-25 fighter jet in the Syrian city of Saraqib

Russian politicians have claimed the US and its allies supplied an anti-aircraft missile used to shoot down a Russian jet over Syria, as Moscow increased attacks on rebels in the country’s Idlib Province.

The Su-25 “Frogfoot” was hit on Saturday while on a bombing run over the northern town of Saraqeb, Idlib. The pilot, Roman Filipov, ejected from the aircraft but was killed shortly after, Middle East Eye reported.

Frants Klintsevich, the deputy chairman of the defense committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, claimed that the US had helped to supply the “effective, high-tech” man-portable air defense system, or Manpad, which shot down the Su-25.

“They [anti-aircraft missiles] cannot get into the territory without serious support and outside escort,” he was reported as saying by The Times.

“It was done by the Americans through third countries. And it will cost them dearly with this background of Russophobia. We are not threatening anyone, but we are warning.”

Dmitri Sablin, the coordinator of the Russia-Syria parliamentary friendship group, added, “There is information that the Manpad used to bring down our jet was brought into Syria from a neighboring country several days ago.

“Countries from whose territory weapons arrive, which are then used against Russian servicemen, must understand that this will not go unpunished.”

Reports in Moscow said Syrian special forces had been sent to find remains of the launcher, but provided no solid evidence of the weapon’s origin

The US has repeatedly denied it has supplied anyone in the Syrian conflict with Manpads—a weapon that, were it to fall into the wrong hands, would be a direct threat to civil aviation.

“The United States has never provided Manpad missiles to any group in Syria,” Heather Nauert, a state department spokeswoman, said.

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