In the afternoon of August 14, a Su-22 warplane of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) was downed while conducting a sortie over the southeastern Idlib countryside.
Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies from the so-called “al-Fatah al-Mubin” operations room claimed that their “air defense companies” were behind the downing of the Su-22. However, this is yet to be verified.
“We were able to capture the pilot after downing his warplane near the town of al-Tamanah in southeastern Idlib countryside,” a press release by al-Fatah al-Mubin reads.
Videos released by opposition activists suggest that the Su-22 had exploded midair. Air-defense fire or a technical failure could cause such an explosion.
This was the first confirmed loss of the SyAAF this year. The most recent incident was on July 24 of 2018, when a Su-22M4 warplane was shot down over western Daraa by Israeli air-defense fire.
The Syrian state media and militants will likely reveal more information about the downing of the Su-22 in the upcoming hours.