MIDDLE EAST

Mystery shrouds return of pilot’s ‘stolen’ body to Russia

Major Filipov reportedly parachuted out of the plane after it was hit and then blew himself up with a grenade. (Supplied)

Two days ago, Russian media outlets said Moscow will spare no effort in retrieving the body of its Pilot Major Roman Filipov whose Sukhoi Su-25 was downed over Syria’s Idlib on Saturday.

Filipov parachuted out of the plane after it was hit and then blew himself up with a grenade after clashing with armed men believed to be members of Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as Al-Nusra Front.

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His body, which Tahrir al-Sham, had seized disappeared overnight amid mysterious circumstances as on Tuesday night. A media outlet affiliated with the group said that Filipov’s body was “stolen.”

A security source was quoted as saying that the body disappeared as “after we demanded it to be handed over, they kept stalling until we found out that the body was handed over to the Russian invader.”

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“We will follow up on the matter and punish whoever committed this hideous crime,” the source added. It is still unclear how the body was returned to in Russia but it is likely that factions close to Turkey managed to get the body and smuggle it through the Turkish borders and then from Turkey into Russia.

The Russian defense ministry confirmed on Tuesday that Filipov’s body has been returned home with the help of Turkish authorities. What is the price paid by Russia to Turkey in exchange for the body? The next few days will certainly reveal this.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 7 February 2018 KSA 08:51 - GMT 05:51
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