Aircraft attack civilian convoy on Syrian highway, at least seven killed - rescuers

Violet Powell
February 4, 2018

A Russian Su-25 jet has crashed in Idlib province in north-western Syria, the Russian Defence Ministry confirmed, adding that it was probably shot down by MANPAD.

The pilot resisted being captured and fired at the militants who then shot and killed him, according to one of the militants and Syrian monitors.

It was not clear which rebel group was involved, but the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is the most active force in the area.

Russian Federation has been conducting military operations in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since September 2015. De-escalation zones include the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo Provinces north of the city of Homs, Eastern Ghouta, as well as the Daraa and al-Quneitra Provinces in southern Syria. The different Syrian sectors should shape that commission: the Government, the opposition, the civil society, the different ethnic and religious groups, women, experts on the Syrian issue and others, he said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Russian pilot was dead but had no immediate further details.

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The authenticity of the video could not be independently confirmed.

Syrian government troops launched a major offensive around Idlib in late December, backed by Russian jets. There was no immediate comment from the Russian or Syrian armies. The UN says some 100,000 civilians have been displaced. A third rebel source said he was killed. One of the soldiers was killed when a Turkish tank was hit in Afrin.

In 2016, Turkey downed a Russian fighter plane which Ankara claimed had encroached in its airspace, causing the relations between the countries to dip to their worst point since the Cold War.

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