MOSCOW, April 9 (Xinhua) -- The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday denied media reports about the redeployment of a fifth-generation Russian Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet to Syria.
"Unfortunately, some media in the pursuit of quoting hot news appearing on behalf of little-known sources in social networks often do not understand their essence," the ministry said in a statement quoted by major Russian news agencies.
Earlier on Monday, Al-Masdar News online newspaper, founded by Syrian journalist Leith Abu Fadel, reported that Russia had transferred one of its Su-57 fighter jets to its Hmeimim airbase in Syria, using posts from social networks with photos taken from the air as proof.
The ministry said that those pictures were taken in 2018 when Russia tested the aircraft in real combat conditions, as was officially reported by the Russian military.
In November 2018, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that it had tested its Su-57 fighter jet in Syria "to confirm the declared capabilities of the newest aircraft in a real combat situation."
According to the ministry, Su-57 crews performed more than 10 flights in Syria, but it was not ascertained if the aircraft had participated in any combat operations.