Updated, April 9th, 2016
al Nusra Front claim the SU22 was shot down with a ZPU anti-aircraft heavy machine gun.
Orient News (better known as Al Nusra television) have conducted an interview with one of the fighters involved with the downing of the Syrian jet this week. The masked al Nusra fighter claimed that the jet was struck by a 14.5 anti-aircraft gun. The fighter is referring to a weapons system popularly known as the ZPU which consists of either two or four machine KPV heavy machine guns, often mounted on the back of vehicles. It is classed as anti-aircraft artillery. These weapons are very common in Syria.
Orient News interviews the man who shot Assad jet down in Aleppo southern countryside
There is no way to confirm these claims but they fit with the known facts and make sense. Hilariously Orient News tried to claim that the warplane was bombing civilians, yet the al Nusra fighters boast completely refutes this pathetic propaganda claim because if the claims are correct the proscribed terror group were operating heavy weapons in the area, the shootdown and the Nusra claim make it clear there were legitimate military targets in al Eis this week.
April 6th, 2016.
Syrian Jet Downed in Aleppo-Pilot Captured.
A Syrian Air force Sukhoi Su22 jet has been shot down in southern Aleppo in the vicinity of the town of al Eis and the pilot has been captured by the jihadists of the al Nusra Front. Tel al Eis has been the site of heavy fighting in recent days after insurgents launched a major offensive in southern Aleppo that saw them seize control of the small southern Aleppo village that government forces seized from the insurgents last November as part of their Aleppo offensive.
The downing of the Su22 is the second Syrian Air Force jet lost in the past several weeks, in mid-March a MIG 21 was downed in Hama province, one pilot ejected but another died after unsuccessfully attempting to land the damaged jet. The cause of the SU22 downing is unclear but the MIG21 appeared to have been attacked with a portable SAM missile or MANPAD.
There is speculation that these jets may have been downed by new surface to air missiles provided to the insurgents by their sponsors however an examination of the history of the Syrian war shows that these latest incidents do not represent a significant departure from what has taken pace throughout the war.
According to the highly respected US journalist Gareth Porter the current partial ceasefire in Syria was due to a secret deal between the US and Russia. Under the purported deal Russia would restrict their bombing attacks to al Nusra and ISIS and in return the US woulkd convince their allies in Saudi Arabia and Turkey to completely stem the flow of weapons to the rebels.
Events on the ground over recent weeks have supported the claims made by Gareth Porter;there has been a dramatic decrease for example in the use of anti tank guided missiles by the insurgents recently, with the dreaded TOW missiles –one of the major offensive weapons in the insurgents- all but disappearing from the battlefield in recent months.
Until the cause of the SU22 shoot down is ascertained specualtion is premature but if an entity or a state have been providing the likes of Jabhat al Nusra with surface to air missiles that could scuttle that deal and see a renewed escalation of the Russian role in the war.
In all likelihood iin this case the insurgents got lucky on the back of a careless pilot but these are worrying signs that the nightmarish Syrian war may be nowhere near conclusion.
Syria War 2016 – Syrian Su-22 Fighter Jet Shot Down By Al-Nusra Front South Of Aleppo
SYRIA Militants shot down the Su-22 Chronicle of events
International Military Review – Syria, Apr. 6, 2016