7 Feb 2018 13:23

Free Syrian Army says helped transfer pilot Filipov's body to Russia

MOSCOW. Feb 7 (Interfax) - The opposition Syrian Free Army has confirmed that one of its groups helped transfer the body of pilot Roman Filipov, whose plane was shot down by militants in Syria on February 3 using a shoulder-fired missile.

"The pilot's body was handed over through channels between Russia and Turkey. Turkey, using its influence, has access to certain groups, which handed over the body," a representative of the Free Syrian Army told Interfax.

"The group that handed over the body belongs to the Free Syrian Army," he said.

On February 3, militants used a shoulder-fired missile to shoot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-25SM attack plane over the Idlib de-escalation zone. Roman Filipov ejected and fought the militants, blowing himself up with a grenade to avoid being captured.

It was reported on Tuesday that Russian military reconnaissance in cooperation Turkey had returned the pilot's body to Russia. In accordance with the wishes of his family and parents, he will be buried with military honors in Voronezh on February 8.