MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. The armed opposition in Syria cannot be called moderate after the killing of the Russian pilot, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Wednesday answering a question from a TASS correspondent.
"How can one consider the armed opposition to be moderate, if they shot dead the pilot as he parachuted to the ground. This is a war crime," he said.
An F-16 fighter of the Turkish Air Force downed on Tuesday Russia’s Su-24M bomber (NATO reporting name Fencer) over the territory of Syria.
The Su-24M crew managed to eject, but one of the two pilots was killed by fire from the ground, the search for the second continued. The second pilot has been rescued.
Two Mi-8 helicopters were engaged in the pilots’ search and rescue operation. One of the helicopters came under fire and made an emergency landing. One Russian contract serviceman — a marine, was killed.The rest of the servicemen on board the helicopter were safely evacuated. The downed Mi-8 helicopter was later destroyed by mortar fire from the territory controlled by militants.