Body of Russian Officer Who ‘Ordered Airstrike on Himself’ to Kill ISIS Militants, Flown Home

By Jonathan Zhou, Epoch Times
April 30, 2016 10:13 pm Last Updated: April 30, 2016 10:13 pm

The body of a Russian special forces officer who died while fighting ISIS militants in Syria has been flown home. 

Senior Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko, 25, died last month during the joint Russia-Syrian effort to retake the city of Palmyra from ISIS. The officer called for an airstrike where he was located after being surrounded by ISIS forces. 

“Following special joint steps taken with the participation of representatives of the Syrian authorities and the Kurdish militia, the officer’s body has been delivered to Moscow,” a Russian defense ministry official said, according to the TASS news agency.

Smoke billows from the Palmyra citadel on March 25, 2016, during a military operation by Syrian troops to retake the ancient city from the jihadist Islamic State (IS) group. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke billows from the Palmyra citadel on March 25, 2016, during a military operation by Syrian troops to retake the ancient city from ISIS. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Prokhorenko was posthumously awarded the “Hero of Russia” title by President Vladimir Putin, and he has been recognized as a national hero in Russia. 

Prokhorenko had been tasked with guiding airstrikes on militants in the Homs province. 

Ten days after his death, on March 17, ISIS was driven out of Palmyra, where they had desecrated many ancient monuments and relics. 

In March, Putin announced the withdrawal of most Russian forces from Syria, although there are still contingents that are active on the ground.