Body of Russian pilot reaches Russia

Moscow, Dec 1 (IANS) The body of a Russian pilot whose Su-24 was shot down by Turkish air force has arrived here, the defence ministry said.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and commander-in-chief of Russia’s Airspace Force, Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, was at the airport when a plane carrying the body landed, Xinhua reported.

According to Bondarev, “those who planned and carried out the betrayal would suffer from deserved punishment”.

The pilot, Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov, was awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation posthumously.

Also on Monday, the defence ministry said that Russian Su-34 bombers, deployed to hit terrorist positions in Syria, used for the first time air-to-air missiles.

The missiles are equipped with target-seeking devices and are capable of hitting aerial targets at a distance of up to 60 km, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

After the downing of the Su-24 on November 24, Russia has stepped up air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State militants, specifically targeting all convoys the rebels were receiving from Turkey.

 

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