Syrian rebels down Russian jet, kill pilot

04 February, 2018, 00:44 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Syrian Kurds mourn in the northern town of Afrin during the funeral on Feb. 1 2018 of fighters from the People's Protection Units militia and the Women's Protection Units, killed in clashes in the Kurdish enclave in northern Syria on the bord

A Russian pilot was killed in Syria on Saturday after parachuting into rebel-held territory when his plane was shot down, the Defence Ministry said.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the downing of the Su-25 and said the pilot was killed in fighting with "terrorists".

"The Russian center for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria and the Turkish side overseeing the Idlib de-escalation area are working to bring the Russian pilot's body home", it said.

The pilot onboard, who ejected successfully was reportedly killed by rebels on ground.

Syrian government troops launched a major offensive around Idlib in late December, backed by Russian jets.

Russian Federation has been conducting military operations in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since September 2015. The militant refused to be identified by his real name because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

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Since then, Syrian government forces have captured wide parts of the country and in recent weeks have been marching in the rebel-held north-western province of Idlib.

Video posted on social media appeared to show the plane being hit, while other video showed burning wreckage on the ground, with a red star on a wing.

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

The UN said some 100,000 civilians have been displaced.

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.

A total of eight Turkish soldiers and at least 24 allied Syrian opposition fighters have died so far in Ankara's offensive, which started on January 20. At least 30 terrorists are believed to have been killed in the operation.

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