Syrian rebels down Russian jet, kill pilot

04 February, 2018, 01:28 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • US warns Syria on chemical weapons amid deepening dispute with Russia

A Syrian militant in the area told The Associated Press that the pilot was shot and killed when he resisted capture by opening fire from his pistol on the militants who tried to seize him alive.

Russian Federation said an airstrike left more than 30 militants dead in an area of Syria's Idlib province after one of its warplanes was brought down on Saturday and its pilot killed, according to reports.

The strike followed the downing of the Russian Su-25 aircraft in the area.

The pilot reportedly ejected the jet after it was hit, the Russian Defense Ministry said, according to Russian media agency TASS.

He could not immediately confirm which faction had shot down the warplane but hardline opposition factions and the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) are active in the area.

The statement said preliminary evidence indicates the plane was shot down by a shoulder-launched antiaircraft missile.

"On 3 February 2018, a Russian fighter jet Su-25 crashed when flying over the Idlib de-escalation zone".

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The Idlib Media Center, an anti-government activist group, posted images that purportedly show the plane's wreckage.

Russia, later carried out massive retaliatory strikes in the region which has killed no of rebels.

The UN said more than 270,000 people had been displaced in Idlib since mid-December as a result of the government's offensive.

Chief of the human rights group Rami Abdurrahman says it is possible the warplane is Russian.

Russian Federation has been conducting military operations in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since September 2015.

The army confirmed new gains on Saturday, saying it had seized a string of villages from al Qaeda fighters, state television said, quoting a military source.

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