For the fourth time this month, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) claimed that its air-defense units had hit a warplane of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF), which was carrying out a sortie over northern Hama.
The terrorist group’s news network, Iba’a, said in a press release that the Syrian warplane was targeted with a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADs) in the morning of June 28.
“A warplane of the criminal regime, of the L-39 type, was damaged by an anti-aircraft missile, launched by al-Fath al-Mubin[HTS-led] operations room, over Hama which forced it to make an emergency landing,” HTS’ press release reads.
Idlib militants are known for possessing several types of MANPADs, including Soviet-made 9K38 Igla and Chinese-made FN-6 missiles. A recent report by Sputnik claimed that Turkey has supplied the militants with even more anti-aircraft missiles.
Earlier this month, HTS’ militants used a MANPAD to hit a Su-22M4 of the SyAAF over northern Hama. Later, the terrorist group falsely claimed that it had hit two Syrian L-39 warplanes.
While it’s unclear if any warplane was hit over northern Hama on June 28, HTS’ claims of using an anti-aircraft missile remains a dangerous development. It reflects the terrorist group’s ability to carry out terrorist attacks with these weapons.