MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. The Kremlin is highly concerned about the fact that terrorists active in Syria own man-portable air defense systems, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"We can definitely say that we are highly concerned about the fact that terrorists own man-portable air defense systems. It poses a great danger to all countries," Peskov said.
The potential of the Russian military contingent remaining in Syria is enough to deliver strikes against terrorists, he added.
"When Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the completion of the active phase of the operation to support the Syrian armed forces in their counter-terror activity, he said that the remaining potential of the Russian military contingent at temporary bases was sufficient to deliver a crushing blow against terrorists, if necessary," the Kremlin spokesman said.
The Kremlin spokesman declined to comment on Russian senator Igor Morozov’s statement, in which he said that the man-portable air defense system used for downing Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jet, had been brought to Syria from Ukraine. "Clearly, one should be cautious about making such statements before one gets precise information as to how terrorists in Syria got that particular man-portable air defense system and other weapons that they have," Peskov noted.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on Saturday, members of the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group (outlawed in Russia) used a man-portable air defense system to down a Russian Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jet, which was conducting a survey flight over Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone. The pilot managed to eject himself from the aircraft but was killed in a combat with terrorists.