At least one video showing Rwandan military shooting man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) at a Congolese Air Force Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft has surfaced online.
The incident took place on January 24, 2023, near the city of Goma, on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), reports claimed.
The Rwandan government has issued a statement saying that the Congolese jet had violated its airspace “for the third time” and that “defensive measures were taken”.
“Rwanda asks the DRC to stop this aggression,” the statement added.
The Congolese government responded, stating that the aircraft was flying in its own territory and then it was attacked by Rwanda in a “deliberate act of aggression that amounts to an act of war”.
In the video, a Su-25 can be seen flying at low altitude when a missile approaches the aircraft and explodes nearby, seemingly damaging the jet.
A photo taken at Goma airport has also been posted online, allegedly showing the aircraft after a successful landing. Its right wing appears to be on fire.
DRC has long accused Rwanda of supporting the M23, a rebel group waging war against the Congolese government. Rwanda denied the allegations.
The countries have continued to exchange accusations as tensions in the region rose following clashes between DRC troops and the M23.
At least one other video, showing what appears to be a DRC Su-25 coming under fire, has been circulating across social media channels. The video likely portrays another instance of Rwandan troops attacking a Congolese jet, although its authenticity could not be confirmed.
According to data from the Military Balance 2022 report, published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Air Force of the Democratic Republic of the Congo operates four Su-25 attack aircraft, the type being the country’s only fixed-wing combat aircraft.