Russian fighter plane shot down by Syrian rebels who 'capture pilot'

Syrian Airstrikes Kill Civilians in Northern Rebel Territory

Massive high-precision weapons strikes have been delivered at targets in the area, from which a missile from the man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) was launched to bring down the Russian Su-25 fighter jet, 30 militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group (banned in Russia) have been killed, Russia's Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

The pilot ejected before the crash and was captured, United Kingdom -based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told the BBC.

Hardline rebel groups including the jihadist, al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham are active in the north-western province.

Russian Federation has launched a bombing campaign against revel groups in Syria in support of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It happened in a rebel-held area near Idlib in the north of the country.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the warplane was downed Saturday afternoon near the rebel-held town of Saraqeb, which Syrian troops have been trying to reach under the cover of Russian airstrikes.

Footage circulating on Twitter allegedly shows the burning Su-25 plane plunging to the ground. The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified.

On November 19, the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group was flushed out of its last stronghold in Syria's Al-Bukamal.

A source in the Syrian Army also confirmed to Sputnik that elite assault units of the army have liberated multiple villages, all of which are located to the south-west of the previously liberated airbase Abu al-Duhur.

The incident comes as Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air support and Iranian arms, have intensified their offensive into Idlib.

The UN says more than 270,000 have been displaced in Idlib because of the government onslaught since December 15.

The Turkish military said two of its soldiers were killed in Syria and a third was killed on the Turkish side of the border in an attack by Syrian Kurdish militiamen.

It is not clear which group was responsible for downing the fighter jet.

In November 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian military aircraft, which caused a diplomatic crisis between Moscow and Ankara.

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