U.S. INTELLIGENCE has confirmed this evening that Santa Claus was shot down at 16:09 GMT by by Syrian forces while flying inside Syrian airspace, American officials have said.
The CIA said the unarmed sleigh registered to one Mr. Claus was not delivering arms to Syrian rebels, but was actually delivering Christmas presents to children at the time.
Syria maintains that it engaged the aircraft in its airspace “according to the laws that govern such situations”.
The Syrian navy are still searching for the eight reindeer and one crew member.
The US government has said debris from the sleigh fell onto a small Syrian village in the North of the country.
“Children’s toys were falling from the sky like rain.” said one villager. “My neighbour is in hospital after being hit on the head by a playstation 4.”
Several people were killed and hundreds more were injured by the falling debris.
“Santa was shot down by a surface-to-air missile” a senior U.S. defence official said, but declined to specify the source of the information. The senior U.S. defence official cautioned that much remains unknown about the incident.
The use of anti-aircraft fire would suggest the North Pole resident was flying slowly and low to the ground, U.S. officials said.
Syria claims Mr. Claus was supplying rebels with military hardware and had no other option but to launch a surface to air strike on the sleigh.
If hit by anti-aircraft fire, the sleigh most likely broke up in mid-air, leaving the odds of any crew member surviving, very low indeed.
An elf official said that Santa would have no way been involved in arms smuggling and that Syria has made a brutal mistake. “It looks like half the world’s children will be present-less this Christmas.” the official said.
Santa Claus was half way through his annual voyage around the world when he was shot down.