Russian Fighter Jet Shot Down in Rebel-Held Syria and Pilot Captured

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Russian Fighter Jet Shot Down in Rebel-Held Syria and Pilot Captured

A picture taken on February 3, 2018, shows a Rebel fighter taking a picture of a downed Sukhoi-25 fighter jet in Syria's northwest province of Idlib.

Both Russia and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the pilot was killed after exchanging fire with the rebels.

The statement said preliminary evidence indicates the plane was shot down by a shoulder-launched antiaircraft missile.

However, the Russian defence ministry said the plane had come down in an area controlled by the al-Qaeda linked jihadist group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

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.

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

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

"The airstrike attacks on civilian settlements in Idlib killed seven people and many civilians were injured", White Helmets director in Idlib, Mustafa Haj Yusuf told Anadolu Agency. One social media video posting showed a body said to be that of the pilot.

Meanwhile, fighting raged on Saturday between Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition fighters, and a Syrian Kurdish militia in the northern Syrian enclave of Afrin.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

Kalin called on the United States to "disengage" from the YPG and said Turkey will continue communications with "our American allies to avoid any confrontation".

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