The Turkey-backed rebel force known as Al-Fatah al-Mubin says it shot down an unmanned Russian Orlan-10 aircraft over the strategic Mount Zawiya in the Jabal al-Zawiya region of northwest Syria’s Idlib province.
In a statement posted on social media, the Al-Fatah al-Mubin group alleged that it shot down the Orlan-10 multi-role, unmanned aerial vehicle with machine guns.
The Orlan-10 is an unmanned antenna system that was developed by the Russian company Special Technology Center LLC in St. Petersburg. The drone is in the service of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
It is intended for a variety of missions including aerial reconnaissance, observation, surveillance, search and rescue, combat training, disruption, radio signal detection, and target tracking.
The group said the plane was conducting an aerial reconnaissance mission over strategic Mount Zawiya. Mount Zawiya is of strategic importance as it overlooks the M4 motorway between Aleppo and Latakia.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where aggression is expressly prohibited.
Syrian military sources, in turn, said the Russian Orlan-10 drone crashed in Idlib province for technical reasons. It was also stated that it will be the second unmanned aircraft of this model to crash in two days.