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Syrian rebels down Russian jet, kill pilot
04 February 2018, 01:28 | Lionel James
UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland
Russia's defence ministry said the pilot had survived the crash but was killed by "terrorists" on the ground.
Al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria downed a Russian fighter jet on Saturday and killed its pilot after he ejected from the plane and landed on the ground in the embattled northwestern province of Idlib.
The strike followed the downing of the Russian Su-25 aircraft in the area.
Rebel fighters in Syria have shot down a Russian plane using a handheld anti-aircraft missile and killed its pilot when he open fire on them while trying to resist capture.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but hardline opposition groups and the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) are active in Idlib.
Russia's defence ministry also said the aircraft was downed by a portable surface-to-air missile. The pilot was able to report ejection from an area controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra militants. The pilot is confirmed to have been killed despite managing to jump off the jet.
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Syrian government warplanes killed seven civilians and injured dozens of internally displaced people in Aleppo as air strikes and shelling intensified across rebel-held areas in Syria.
The regime has launched an offensive to retake Idlib, the only province that has come under full rebel control in the almost 7-year-old conflict.
Syrian soldiers and Iranian-backed militiamen were now around 12 kilometres from Saraqeb, advancing towards the Damascus-Aleppo highway under cover of heavy Russian air strikes, two opposition sources said.
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Russian air force losses have been rare since it began its Syria campaign in September 2015.
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.
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