Due to the fact that three Russian pilots and two other citizens of Russia have died in the crash of a Mi-8 helicopter shot down in the Aleppo area, a “Возмездие” operation began (Russian for “Retaliation”). It is hard to find any information on this operation within the official Russian sources. Nonetheless, independent media, social media channels, as well as observers staying in Syria inform that a great number of air strikes is taking place in the area of the Idlib province, within which the aforementioned incident involving the Russian rotorcraft took place.
The Russian crew has died, as a result of the incident, and the bodies of the deceased aviators were desecrated by the rebels arriving at the crash site. Jabhat al-Nusra front was accused of shooting down the Mi-8AMTSh helicopter, nonetheless, the Russians are also directing their attacks against the units of the Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Fatah movements, and any other armed units or groups operating in the area.
The initiative which has not been mentioned by any official source led to a complete destruction of the town of Sarakib, closest to the location where the incident took place.
Abu Adduhor airbase is also a target for the strikes. Since many months it has been controlled by the rebels, and it was the main point of gathering for the forces operating in the Idlib region. The Russian strikes involve any measures available, including cluster munitions and air-fuel explosives. Similar activities, however with diminished intensity, in comparison with the current events, took place after body of the pilot of the Su-24 jet was desecrated, close to the Turkish border.