Syria rebels shoot down Russian jet, monitoring group says

Posted February 04, 2018

"We believe two Russian planes struck the convoy of civilians on the highway and left at least seven killed and twelve injured, mostly elderly and children", said Ammar al Adnan, a civil defence worker from Saraqeb. The defence ministry said that the aircraft was downed by a portable surface-to-air missile.

Syria is in the process of carrying out an offensive against Islamist rebels in Idlib Province, where most of such groups are operating.

Russian Federation has been providing air support to the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad in his fight against rebel groups and terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

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Footage posted on Twitter apparently shows rebels approaching the flaming wreckage, with a red star symbol visible on a piece of the plane. One social media video posting showed a body said to be that of the pilot. One of the armed men shouts: "He is Russian".

Abdel Rahman could not immediately confirm which hardline factions were involved but said the Sukhoi 25 was downed in an area where the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is active.

Russian Federation has launched a bombing campaign against revel groups in Syria in support of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The province is also a base for al-Qaida's branch in Syria and other Islamic groups.

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

In August 2016, five Russian soldiers were killed after their helicopter was shot down by rebel groups in Idlib.

Mattis did not say why he deemed the Sochi peace effort a failure, but stressed the UN-backed process in Geneva, brokered by United Nations special envoy de Mistura, was "on track again for all the people who've questioned we'd ever get there".

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Around 1,400 delegates attended Tuesday's meeting, as part of a broader push by regime-backer Moscow to consolidate its influence in the Middle East.