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Syria war: Civilians killed in government air strikes across rebel-held areas


A Russian Sukhoi-25 fighter jet has been shot down in a rebel-held area in Syria's north-western province of Idlib. However, they claimed that the pilot died after ejecting by parachute, the TASS news agency reported, denying rebels claims that a pilot was captured.

On Saturday, the Russian Defence Ministry confirmed that one of its fighter jets was downed in the de-escalation zone in Idlib province.

Idlib has always been the region where civilians and fighters have gone as they fled rebel-friendly areas under siege by the Syrian regime.

The ministry also said 30 militants had been killed in air strikes carried out in the Idlib area.

With the help of Russian forces, the Syrian government has managed to take back much of the country held by rebels.

The downing of the aircraft is a rare instance of a Russian jet being shot down by rebels.




The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said there had been dozens of Russian air strikes in the area over the past 24 hours.

The Idlib Media Center, an anti-government activist group, posted images that purportedly show the plane's wreckage.

Syria's state news agency, SANA, said Syrian troops captured the village of Maasaran as well as the Tel Tokan hill, cutting links between Saraqeb and the rebel stronghold of Maarest al-Numan to the south.

The Russian plane was shot down over the town of Khan al-Subl near the city of Saraqeb, close to a major highway where the Syrian army and Iranian-backed militias are trying to advance, a rebel source said. The UN says some 100,000 civilians have been displaced.

The Turkish military said seven of its soldiers were killed in Syria and another was killed on the Turkish side of the border in an attack by Syrian Kurdish militiamen.

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