As posted previously on The WIDER View on the 21 February 2016 that reported on Saudi Arabia’s desire to see surface to air missiles sent to opposition groups, fundamentalist Islamic group Ahrar al Sham has claimed credit for downing an alleged Syrian SU-22 jet today using a surface to air missile or MANPAD.
If the jet was indeed shot down with a MANPAD system, it shows that such weapons have now made their way into Syria, in keeping with Saudi Arabia’s desire to see this happen.
Incidentally, given the quote by the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir contained in the link above, it seems Saudi Arabia’s version of being careful that such weapons do not fall into the ‘wrong hands’ is very different to it’s Western allies version of ‘wrong hands.’
The pilot ejected and was subsequently captured by the fundamentalist Islamic group Jabhat al Nusrah (al Qaeda in Syria) according to Abu Saeed al Hollandi, an alleged Jabhat al Nusrah fighter. Other pro-opposition sources claim that the pilot was captured by Ahrar al Sham and handed to Jbahat al Nusrah.
Either way, he has been captured by Jabhat al Nusrah, both Ahrar al Sham and Jabhat al Nusrah have released videos of the wreckage site, the Jabhat al Nusrah video also contains an interview with the pilot after his capture.
- Official Twitter page of Ahrar al Sham page (05 Apr 2016):
- Youtube video Ahrar al Sham (05 Apr 2016) – Ahrar al-Sham | Witness the fall of the military aircraft were carried out air strikes on the liberated areas in the countryside of Aleppo:
- Youtube video Jabhat al Nusrah (05 Apr 2016) – Shoot down military aircraft in the southern countryside of Aleppo and the arrest of the pilot: