Russian Federation plane downed over Syria, pilot killed in clash

Nasr Hariri chief negotiator for Syria's main opposition poses for

Nasr Hariri chief negotiator for Syria's main opposition poses for

The Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot is a close air support aircraft widely used by Russian forces in Syria to provide air support to Syrian govt and Russian forces against the rebels.

Syrian rebels shot down a Russian warplane and killed its pilot on the ground after he ejected from the plane, Russia's defence ministry and Syrian rebels say.

A human rights group says the Russian plane was downed in rebel-held Idlib province, near the rebel-held town of Sarqeb, which Syrian troops have been trying to take under the cover of Russian airstrikes.

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 militant refused to be identified by his real name because he was not authorized to speak to the media. One of the armed men shouts: 'He is Russian'.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime recently resumed airstrikes on rebel-held areas such as Idlib province, prompting tens of thousands of civilians to flee their homes, according to United Nations officials.

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.

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

"There have been dozens of Russian air strikes in the area over the past 24 hours".

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.

The ministry said more than 30 militants in the area were killed in a retaliatory strike, according to RIA Novosti, citing "radio intercepts".

Moscow began conducting air strikes in Syria in September 2015.

About 45 Russian military personnel have been confirmed dead in Syria, along with an unknown number of contractors.

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