On Tuesday morning, the Turkish Air Defense downed a Russian SU-24 fighter jet that allegedly violated Turkish airspace; this required both pilots to eject from the aircraft above Jabal Al-Turkmen (Turkmen Mountains) in the Latakia Governorate’s northern countryside.
Following the ejection from the SU-24 fighter jet by the two Russian pilots, the Russian Air Force sent a search and rescue team via an MI-8 transport helicopter to Jabal Al-Turkmen, where they encountered heavy resistance from the U.S. backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their allies from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” near the Turkish border (4km south).
As the Russian search and rescue team approached the location of the two ejected pilots, their MI-8 transport helicopter came under heavy fire from the Islamist rebel forces, resulting in material damage to the aircraft.
However, not long after shelling and firing repeated rounds of anti-aircraft gunfire at the MI-8 transport helicopter, the U.S. backed Islamist rebels from the Free Syrian Army’s “1st Coastal Brigade” fired a U.S. manufactured anti-tank TOW missile towards the chopper, downing the search and rescue team near the SU-24’s crash site.
Luckily, soldiers from the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade were not far from the crash site; this allowed them to rescue the crew members that survived the crash landing after bypassing the Islamist rebel frontlines in Jabal Al-Turkmen.