A warplane of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) was hit with an anti-aircraft guided missile over the northern Hama countryside in the morning of June 7.
A military source told SouthFront that a Syrian Su-22M4 fighter bomber was hit with a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD) missile, that had been launched by militants, while it was carrying out a sortie over northern Hama. Despite this, the experienced pilot was able to land safely in an unspecified airbase in Homs.
Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, claimed responsibility for the attack immediately. However, its news agency, Iba’a, said later that the warplane was targeted by the so-called “joint operations room”, an HTS-led coalition with Turkish-backed factions and al-Qaeda-affiliated groups.
Idlib militants are known for possessing several types of MANPADs, including Soviet-made 9K38 Igla and Chinese-made FN-6 missiles.
The militants’ use of MANPADs is not something new. It will likely have a limited effect on Russian and Syrian aerial operations over Greater Idlib.