UPDATE: The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the the warplane had been downed by militants. According to the ministry, the militants probably used a MANPAD.
UPDATE 2: Hayat Tahrir al-Sham officially confirmed that it had downed the warplane with a MANPAD.
On February 3, the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) group, Jaysh al-Nasir, announced that its fighters had shot down a Su-25 warplane of the Russian Aerospace Forces over the village of Khan al-Sabil southwest of the city of Saraqib in the southeastern Idlib countryside.
A video released by Syrian opposition activists showed the Su-25 being hit in its right engine by what appears to be an anti-aircraft gun. The pilot ejected from the Su-25 immediately.
The Su-25 pilot was reportedly captured right away by fighters of HTS and the FSA. In a leaked radio conversation, a commander of the militants ordered his fighters to execute the pilot then burn his body once he is captured.
Later, FSA and HTS supporters published on their Telegram channels a photo of the Su-25 pilot after he was executed with several gun shots. According to some reports, the pilot was killed by gun fire before he was able to land.
In the photo the pilot appears to be wearing the official uniform of the Russian Aerospace Forces. However, the identity of the pilot is yet to be confirmed.
On August 1, 2016 five Russian servicemen were killed and decapitated by HTS and FSA fighters when their helicopter was shot down also around Saraqib city.
Syrian opposition sources reported that dozens of Syrian and Russian aircraft are currently flying over the southeastern Idlib countryside in what appears to be an attempt to locate the group responsible for shooting down the Su-25 warplane.
The Ministry of Defense of Russia has not yet commented on the incident.