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Russian plane shot down in Syria
04 February 2018, 01:09 | Rufus Hill
Syrian Airstrikes Kill Civilians in Northern Rebel Territory
However, later reports suggested the Russian pilot had been killed by rebel fighters after he resisted capture by opening fire with his pistol. According to several Syrian reports, the pilot was captured by a local terrorist group whose members then executed him, though this has not been officially confirmed.
Russian Federation has been conducting military operations in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since September 2015.
Videos appeared to show the plane being hit, while other video showed burning wreckage on the ground.
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 authenticity of the video could not be independently verified.
Syrian troops launched a fierce offensive on Idlib in late December, with backing by Russian warplanes.
On November 19, the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group was flushed out of its last stronghold in Syria's Al-Bukamal.
The army confirmed new gains on Saturday, saying it had seized a string of villages from al Qaeda fighters, state television said, quoting a military source.
The military said Saturday's deaths were related to Turkey's operation against the Syrian Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin, codenamed Olive Branch.
The Turkish operation aims to clear Afrin of the USA -backed Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the People's Protection Units or YPG, which Turkey considers to be a terrorist group and an extension of the Kurdish insurgency within its borders.
Opposition factions have shot Syrian regime planes in the past, but downing Russian warplanes is much rarer.
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