Syrian rebels down purported Russian warplane; pilot dead


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

Russian Federation lost its second combat jet in Syria, after an Su-25 ground attack aircraft was shot down by rebels in the Idlib province.

Russian Federation and Turkey, which is responsible for a de-escalation zone in Idlib, were taking measures to return the pilot's body, the defense ministry said. Preliminary data showed the Su-25 plane was downed by a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD), the ministry said in a statement on Saturday. Since then, Syrian government forces have captured wide parts of the country and in recent weeks have been marching in Idlib.

The army also carried out a successful operation in the south of the province of Aleppo, where, after heavy clashes with terrorists of al-Nusra Front, the villages of al-Mulaham and Atshanah Sharqiyah were liberated. One social media video posting showed a body said to be that of the pilot.

Earlier in the day, the Observatory and the media arm of al-Qaida-linked militants reported intense airstrikes in Idlib.

More news: Higher traffic boosts results at McDonald's
More news: Quick-fire 11-second goal lifts Tottenham past Man Utd
More news: Fox signs five-year deal to air Thursday night NFL

Scores of civilians have been killed in the intensive air raids, while the rebels have lost ground with the regime capturing dozens of towns and villages.

Russian Federation has acted alongside its Syrian allies targeting rebels in the area.

Syrian troops launched a fierce offensive on Idlib in late December, with backing by Russian warplanes.

The military said Saturday's deaths were related to Turkey's operation against Syrian Kurdish-held Afrin, codenamed Olive Branch. One of the soldiers was killed when a Turkish tank was hit in Afrin. The YPG controls much of the territory along the border and an uninterrupted strip from Manbij to the Iraqi border.