US-Backed Free Syrian Army Group Shoots Down Russian Jet, Kills Pilot

The Jaysh al-Nasr rebel group in Syria, part of the US-backed Free Syrian Army, has posted footage of its fighters celebrating the shoot-down of a Russian Suhkoi-25 jet fighter in the Idlib province of Syria. It is the first time a Russian fighter has been shot down by Syrian rebels attempting to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The plane was apparently brought down by a man-portable air defense system (ManPADS) surface-to-air missile. According to press reports, the pilot ejected from the plane safely but was killed by the Syrian rebels on the ground.

The 2017 US military spending bill provided authorization for the Department of Defense to arm the rebels with shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles or ManPADS. At the time, the Russians vigorously objected to the dramatic US move to provide sophisticated weaponry to the rebels, claiming (rightfully it turns out) that “[t]he relevant decision also poses a direct threat to aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces…”

The scenario where a US-backed, US-supplied jihadist group in Syria uses US weapons to shoot down a Russian plane and then murders the pilot on the ground should be seen as a near-nightmare escalation, drawing the US and Russia terrifyingly closer to direct conflict.

Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

77 thoughts on “US-Backed Free Syrian Army Group Shoots Down Russian Jet, Kills Pilot”

  1. If it’s like the drone attack of a couple of weeks ago, the Russians will follow this bunch of thugs to their lair and dispose of them.

    1. Long gone. The drill is shoot and scoot. If the perp was a Western operative, perhaps even evacuated.

      1. This from Russia Today, “The group that had the MANPAD has been destroyed by the Russian Air Force. Syrian commandos are working on the ground. If they find elements of that launcher, we could trace its serial number and establish its origin to the factory in a few days, find out how it got there,”

        1. Then the Russian ambassador to the UN can take fragments and have a show and tell ala Nikki Haley. And when he shows the “made in America” sticker he can scream for sanctions and demand regime change in the US.

          1. Putin, ever the consummate chess player, will have a better response, like when Turkey shot down one of their planes. Revenge is dish best served cold.

          2. Shades of the Stingers given to the Taliban and other Afghan militia. they’re thirty years out of date, but there was a light dusting of propaganda at the start of the U.S. Getting An Expensive and Embarrassing continuous spanking by a culture the ugly ones in our government refer to as Savages.

        2. Some suckers were destroyed, sure.

          That news will make the people feel a bit better the same way people felt better when the RPG gunner who took out the SEAL chopper in Afghanistan was allegedly taken out. All Taliban in that area were allegedly destroyed as well. However, the gunner allegedly survived long enough to give an interview about how he got the lucky shot. For all we know he’s still alive.

          We don’t know for sure here either. The M’Pd team had hours to escape.

          That’s the second of two recent MANPAD shots taken at the Russians in recent days. Almasdarnews ‘just happened’ to report a shipment of MANPADs had made it into Afrin. Looks like someone wanted to be sure MANPADs were on the brain.

          MANPADs have been in Syria for a while, largely unused against jets. The main reason for that would be, they are obsolete; passable for hunting helicopters, but not jets. The leftovers from Saddam or Gaddafi arsenals, old Soviet client states.

          Now suddenly an SU-25 is hit? Looks like a shipment of more advanced MANPADs and maybe a team or three of skilled operators were sent bear hunting in Idlib, and probably told don’t come back till bagging at least one.

  2. Not only should we stand during the National Anthem (fight song?) at the beginning of the Super Bowl tomorrow, we should also make time to say The Pledge of Allegiance. Oh, and rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic while you’re at it.

  3. unlike the us, the russians are rational actors, they would in no way escalate against the us for this, they understood the risk involved and will accept them.

    they will continue like it did not happen, maybe a few revenge attacks on the group that carried it out but nothing more.

        1. Of course the did. Think about it: to rob the bank you blow it up, just ask Butch Cassidy. To get what you want from Pentagon you blow it up. Simple.

    1. Of they may decide that the Afgahns, or other Groups currently being Attacken by the US could also use such Weapons to take down a Jet, Ort a couple of Helicopters.

      1. like i said the russians are rational actors, and don’t want armed islamist in there backyard with advanced weapons, even if it would provide momentary gratification.

        1. The Russians need to act forcefully or it will just escalate. I would flood weapons and training into the donbass and sell and setup s-400 missle defense for Iran and Syria

      2. Should have done it a long time ago… We armed the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan with them and they took out many Russian aircraft.. Stupid when the shoe is on the other foot to not press the point…. Maybe if the Taliban were a bit more successful, Trump would negotiate one of his “very good deal”….. folks, one of the best ever”. The man’s ego is so gargantuan he needs a whole contenent to house its enorminty.. I, still prefer him to Hillary… Stay tuned, this could change, but you will probably lose if you think I would easily slither back to her evilness any time soon…… Or later…!!!!!!!!!

      3. No they should not; in assymetrical warfare the weaker party does not escalate because its the weaker party.

    2. If the Russians don’t destroy all US positions in Syria this will be Russia’s Vietnam. The US will simply keep resupplying it’s terrorist mercenaries with arms, and the war will go on indefinitely.

      1. One investment firm has a trillion in assets, which is by a massive coincidence the official amount of the budget the duopoly hasn’t passed yet. ONE bank. That obscenity has a massive strong message for the world. Since Donald is going to raid that private stash to the same extent he’s raided public funds, …. It didn’t take much time and a lot of blood and destruction to suck down a trillion, it’s not inconceivable we’ll witness the biggest bank heist in history. Soon.

  4. These people will all rue the day they did the work of Israel. Russia will not lie down for this at all.

          1. They will if US forces directly attack Assad, Assad is going no where and everyday that passes by the fascists from America are losing in Syria, Isis is weak, the Kurds are being attacked by Turkey and Assad and Russia are winning. Try to remove Assad illegally like Gaddafi and Hussein its World War 3. This is why the North Koreans have gone for the nuke deterrent to prevent being attacked by fascists.

  5. This, along with Haley claiming “Russia isn’t our friend” at the GOP circle jerk, and the sale of lethal arms to Ukraine makes one wonder how détente 2.0 will ever get off the ground.

    1. When was “détente 2.0” ever meant to get off the ground. It’s all posturing and posing while the Powers That Be stage the next big “event”.

      1. Never. There is plenty of anti-Russian bipartisanship. One of the few things both parties agree on. War and blind loyalty to a foreign country being two of the others.

  6. Russia and its allies have the full legal right to retaliate with all the military power they can muster and should do so.

  7. In Soviet Union, bear pokes YOU. This will not end well, not diplomatically and certainly not for the knuckleheads who shot down the plane.

  8. Russia should attack immediately and destroy all US positions in Syria. That’s the only way to end this. But all they do is complain, they never attack.

    1. Russia is in Syria with a mandate to fight terrorists. They comply with that mandate and to the best of my knowledge are not arming various sect to further destabilize the region.
      Attacking the USA would be a unhelpful escalation, so brave Russian military men die due to American duplicity. Its not fair but it is driven by American/Israeli policy, no doubt about it.

      1. Russia and Syria have shown satellite imagery showing US troops working with terrorists in Syria, so Russia should treat them no differently than terrorists. Even if Russia destroys the terrorists that did this, America will move more terrorists into the area and re-supply them. Russia needs to destroy the source of the problem, which is the American presence in Syria. But they won’t, all they will continue to do is complain and the war will go on indefinitely.

        1. Wrong. Russia is winning back world opinion and China is on their side. The empire will collapse. Hopefully without destroying our Earth

          1. Most of Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and other countries are bribed to go along with America. Facts, logic, and diplomacy are useless in dealing with them. The Russians ,Chinese and Iranians don’t get this .I hope Russia is prepared for a never-ending war.

        2. You do understand what you are asking for is World War 3– and the end of all life on earth?

          Putin loves life more than you evidently do.

          1. Then Russia should leave and leave Syria to the terrorists. If they continue to do what they are doing they will be in an endless war.

          2. Life is an endless War.

            Putin evidently has faith in the American people.

            Faith that one day Americans will overthrow the Zionist scum who are using us as cannon fodder.

          3. I hate these Zionist lunatics too. The Russians should send some of their people here to murder them instead of relying on Americans to wake up. If the American people have not woken up by now, they never will. If Putin really believes Americans will wake up, he needs to have his head examined.

          4. Americans DID wake up!

            Trump ran on a platform of FRIENDSHIP WITH RUSSIA!!

            That is why he won!

            Trump tried to drain the swamp by himself– and failed.

            He now is as bad as Obama.

            It is down to the American people now.

            The political system is ruled by Zionists, funded by Zionists, and supported by Zionist media.

            They WANT World War 3.

            It would please them greatly for America and Russia to be completely destroyed…

          5. You sound like someone who is “awake” but most Americans are not. Americans only see what’s on the surface. They are fed up with politics as usual but they have no idea what the real problems are or who is really in power. Most have no idea what the patriot act or ndaa are, or of the neocons that make our foreign policy or that we support terrorists in Syria, just to name a few things. And I don’t think Trump tried to drain anything. He fired Flynn, the only good guy in his cabinet, and hired idiot warmongers like Haley, McMaster, and Mattis. Why doesn’t he at least condemn the neoconservatives that are driving the world towards nuclear war?

          6. Trump ran on ending the TPP, changing naftaa, getting out of NATO, getting out of SYRIA, teaming up with Putin, bringing back the jobs, and building a wall against illegal immigration.

            So, it is safe to say people who voted for him were aware of at least these issues.

            Trump publicly stated Obama and Clinton invented Isis.

            Trump PUBLICLY accused McCain and Graham of trying to start World War 3.

            Remember when the Congress voted ALMOST UNANIMOUSLY to sanction all of Russian industry?

            This should show how stacked the deck is against Trump teaming up with Putin.

            There is a demonic force (Zionism) which seeks to use America as a weapon against all enemies of Israel.

            Even Trump’s own family are Zionists.

            It is impossible to clean up the Zionist mafia from within.

            It is up to the unelected American people to take their nation back by force.

            Their is no political solution.

            Politics in America is simply Zionist vs ultra Zionist.

            It is up to God to put the DEMAND for freedom into the hearts and minds of the goyim…

          7. Is there anything else in DC?

            He would have to only have average citizens in his administration.

          8. I would go after Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, or Cynthia McKinney. I’m sure there are a few other decent people. What about Ray McGovern or pat Buchanan? I would at least hire sane people who wouldn’t provoke Russia and China or support terrorists.

          9. You named FIVE sane people in American politics– and three of them are over seventy and retired!!

            Americans have been sold out completely.

            You can not have ANY of the creatures currently in govt and NOT have lunacy, thirst for World War 3, and the love of funding terrorists.

            The entire US govt is corrupt and irredeemable.

            They are ALL scum.

            Without exception.

          10. That’s off the top of my head, I’m sure if you gave me a few days I can come up with more. I certainly wouldn’t hire who trump did .

          11. McKinney said ALL US Congress critters have to swear an oath of loyalty to Israel.

            Any creature in Congress obviously took the oath…

            Ergo, they are ALL TRAITORS.

            There are no decent people in the govt…

    2. This is not true at all. Russian entry into Syria was a complete surprise to the morons in the Pentagon who were enjoying the complete destruction of Syria up to that point. All the pentagon could do was create two minute hate propaganda in the US media about it.

      1. True ,but the us now has a permanent presence in Syria. My view is that they have given up on getting Assad and are trying to keep the Russians and Syrians from winning by supplying and training terrorists in these bases. What else are they for? Btw, trump has staffed his administration with russophobes and warmongers so there is no difference between him and Bush or Obama in this regard.

  9. Nikki Haley whines continuously that Iran supplies munitions to the Houti which is unconfirmed but here we have a clear case of American supplied munitions downing legitimate air-force efforts to eliminate terrorists in Syria.
    Nikki and her boss are hypocrites of course but this is now the new standard for the USA internationally.

  10. This is American policy when attacking the Russians once again. How quickly people forget the Soviet-Afghan War. US and allies will continually draw in Russian involvement and suffer all it needs to start to bankrupt the Russians once again. What I’m surprised about is that the Russians might not see this happening all over again.

    1. Just remember that the Cuban Missile Crisis had little to do with Cuba and everything to do with US Aggression on the Soviet borders! Be careful America the Russians have NEW weapons of mass destruction, One hundred Kiloton Torpedoes great for making Tsunamis, four will be enough, maybe five, every US coastal city Gone! Undetectable and all can be launched to go off at the same time. The Perfect weapon if attacked.

  11. Erdogan in one of his many speeches justifying Afrin did mention there was 4000 truckloads and 2000 planeloads of war materiale he was out to destroy, and, the Turks found a MANPAD in a small YPG arms cache. There’s a free flow of materiale between DAESH groups including the Kurds.

    If MANPAD use becomes commonplace in the region its still too little too late anyway. Slowly – way too slowly, but whatever – the Syria-Russian alliance is winning Idlib.

    The Syrian-Russian alliance had lost planes, helos, and pilots before.

    The final eviction of the U.S. from Syria will be vengeance and being violently spoilsporty is usually a good indicator of how bad U.S.D.S. domination schemes are going.

    The real danger is that Islamic terrorists have MANDPADs; that wasn’t supposed to happen because to the threat of their use against civilian air traffic.

    1. Remember that the US was beside itself with worry that Bin Ladin still had stinger missiles from when the CIA gave them to him in Afghanistan to fight the Russians, and were ever so careful under Hillary to only give TOW missile launchers with four missiles and the need to return the empty launcher to replace them. But under Trump that changed, major Stupidity set in!

  12. International reporting on this one is has various stories, with claims being made that the US didn’t have any “rebels” in the area at the time. An AQ group is taking responsibility and Russia is claiming the ManPADS came across the border a few days ago. They don’t say who’s border though. The Russian’s blasted the fighters in the area with kaliber missiles, killing thirty. The US still says they have never actually sent any ManPADS even though they were authorized by congress to do so. A fair amount of the stories are suggesting this could be a problem for Turkey rather than the US. Why I’m not sure, there is some speculation that Turkey’s Syrian Anti-Assad Arab allies were fighting in the area, but they don’t say specifically where. Both Russia and the US claim to be investigating where the ManPADS came from.

    Meanwhile back in the States the idiots are still pushing hard to make Russia the boogieman by claiming “Russian Collusion”. Furthermore, these same idiots seem oblivious to the dangers of pushing this inflammatory nonsense. Sadly many of the people on the left who might have been out protesting our presence in Syria are instead consumed by the anti-Putin narrative, simply because they hate Trump. Amazing; Trump gets one thing right and they demonize him for it anyway. I expect this kind of stupidity from the right but I thought our left had a little more sense.

  13. It is time that Russia makes its presence known. I hope Putin hits them with all he has and he has the capacity to wipe them out in one day and I hope he uses it. The United States has gone mad by essentially thrusting the possible outbreak of nuclear war into the hands of a bunch of wacko terrorists. And once again all to carry out Israeli foreign policy to destablize Syria. As always the Zionists will over reach and in their over reach brings us into nuclear war. WWI, WWII, now the Zionist perfecta WWIII

    1. There’s certainly danger of that. Our only hope is that we find AND TAKE some of the off-ramps to sanity and survival before it gets to that point. I do believe they exist. This disturbing news does not improve our chances.

  14. The Syrians don’t have the education or the training to operate MANPADs. It has to have been an Amerikkkan “trainer” operating it.

  15. I seem to recall trump stated he ordered a halt to arming Syrian rebels ? Did he forget to actually do it ?

  16. Russians should killed anybody involved: terrorists, civilians that mingle with terrorists and sponsors!

  17. The Russians have no reason to fight that dirty; it would only legitimize similar attacks against them.

  18. If this was an American craft, the US would instantly brand it as the fault of:

    A. Russia
    B. Iran
    C. North Korea
    D: China

    Regardless of any actual facts or evidence…

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