The Russian agency LifeNews said Russian Air Force Captain Konstantin Murakhtin (picture), was found by a 18-man Syrian special forces team. It said he had hidden for many hours after landing, and was found by his radio signal.

The Syrian government gave out a statement saying: “Special operations units from the Syrian Arab army conducted  a special operation in which it penetrated areas where the terrorists are present and was able to rescue one of the pilots of the Russian plane.”

Murakhti, whose plane was hit by a Turkish air-to-air-missile, said he knew the area where his plane came down “like the back of my hand”. Regarding the claim by the Turkish government that the pilot had been warned several times before he was engaged, Murakhtin said:

“There were no warnings, either by radio or visually. There was no contact whatsoever.”

At the time of the interview, he  was receiving medical treatment and said he wanted to stay in Syria and continue to fly missions.

Russian President Putin awarded him the The Order of Courage.