Two Russian airmen were killed Friday after their helicopter was shot down by ISIS using American weaponry over Syria on Friday, Interfax News agency said, quoting Russia’s defense ministry.
According to the defense ministry, ISIS militants, hit the airmen’s Mi-25 assault helicopter with a U.S.-made TOW heavy anti-tank missile, a weapon that uses guidance from a ground station and is used by the United States military.
The helicopter was taken down when it was advancing on ISIS fighters near Palmyra. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
“According to information we have, the terrorists used an American TOW,” Interfax News Agency quoted an unknown Russian military source.
The Russian Defense Ministry released a statement on the attack:
“The crew received a request from the Syrian unit’s command to strike the advancing fighters.
The captain, Ryafagat Khabibulin, made a decision to attack the terrorists.
The skillful actions of the Russian crew thwarted the terrorists’ advance.
When the helicopter’s ammunition was spent and it changed its course to the opposite direction, it was shot down by terrorists from the ground and crashed in an area controlled by the Syrian government army.”
A translated statement from the ISIS affiliated Amaq News Agency reads:
“By Allah’s grace alone, the soldiers of the Khilafah launched an attack with heavy weapons.
The soldiers of the Khilafah shot down a Russian helicopter as it attempted to raid their locations, which led to destroying it and killing those on board and all praise is due to Allah.”
Russian newspapers that reported the link between the missile and the United States did not mention how ISIS obtained the weapon.