Syrian rebels take down Russian plane, kill pilot

Syrian rebels shot down a Russian warplane on Saturday and killed its pilot on the ground after he ejected from the plane, Russia’s defense ministry and Syrian rebels said.

Syrian rebels shot down a Russian war plane in northern Syria on Saturday -- the wreckage seen here in amateur video obtained by Reuters.

The plane was targeted in the Idlib province--which has seen heavy fighting.

A video posted to social media claims to show the pilot escaping using a parachute - but according to the Russian defence ministry he was later captured and killed during "a fight" with militants.

Moscow said it retaliated soon after with an air strike that killed more than 30 militants in the same area where the plane was downed.

The rebels claim that they took down the Russian plane because it had targeted civilian convoys fleeing along a major highway -- killing seven civilians and injuring scores more.

Since Russia joined the war on the side of the Syrian government in 2015, rebels have lost control of nearly all major population centers, but they still maintain a stronghold in Idlib.

The civil war, now in its eighth year, has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven more than 11 million Syrians from their homes.


Source: Times of Oman,
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