MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday conveyed condolences over the death of Su-25 pilot Roman Filipov shot down in Syria.
"The terrorists shot down our plane. The pilot heroically died. We all are conveying condolences to the pilot’s relatives and are proud of our heroes," Putin’s spokesman said.
The Russian military contingent’s potential remaining in Syria is enough to deliver strikes against terrorists, Peskov said.
"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.
As Putin’s spokesman added, "we mean precisely such precision strikes and they were provoked by the tragic event when the terrorists shot down our plane."
"This tragic event was followed by decisive actions to counter terrorist activity," Peskov said.
As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported earlier, militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra extremist grouping (outlawed in Russia) shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft from a shoulder-fired air defense missile system in the western Syrian province of Idlib on Saturday. The plane was making a flight over the de-escalation zone. The pilot was able to eject but later died in a ground combat with terrorists.
The Russian air task force’s massive strike delivered later with precision weapons against the area, from which the missile had been fired against the Su-25 plane, killed 30 Jabhat al-Nusra gunmen. The Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria is now taking efforts jointly with the Turkish side to recover the body of the dead pilot.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has recommended Su-25 pilot Roman Filipov for conferring the title of the Hero of Russia on him posthumously.