The Russian Aerospace Forces have conducted “a massive precision weapon strike” on positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the area close to the Su-25 downing site, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The ministry added that at least 30 militants were killed in the attack.
“A group strike using precision weapons has been conducted in the area controlled by the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group [Hayat Tahrir al-Sham] in Idlib province, from where the missile was launched against the [downed] Russian Su-25 airplane. According to radio intercepts, as a result of the strike, more than 30 militants of Jabhat al-Nusra were destroyed,” the ministry said.
Earlier on January 3, the militant forces led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham downed a Russian Su-25 warplane with a MANPAD over the village of Khan al-Sabil southwest of the city of Saraqib in southeastern Idlib. The pilot ejected but was killed by militants.