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Rebels ‘shoot down Syrian government warplane’

Rebels ‘shoot down Syrian government warplane’

Syria war: Rebels ‘shoot down government warplane’ 14 August 2019 Share Share this with These are external links and will open in a new window https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-49348064 Read more about sharing. These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Related TopicsSyrian civil war Image copyright AFP Image caption Rebel fighters…


Syria war: Rebels ‘shoot down government warplane’

  • 14 August 2019

Related Topics

  • Syrian civil war

Rebel fighters pose for a picture with the remains of a downed warplane in the south of Idlib province on August 14, 2src19Image copyright AFP
Image caption Rebel fighters posed for pictures with wreckage from the warplane

A Syrian government warplane is reported to have been shot down as fighting continues in the rebel-held northern province of Idlib.

Opposition sources said the jet had been brought down near the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Earlier reports said Russian-backed government forces had advanced to just a few kilometres from the town.

Nearly 30 combatants are said to have been killed in overnight fighting.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said the pilot of the Russian-made Sukhoi warplane had been captured and was being held by the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the dominant faction in Idlib Province.

HTS said the plane was shot down over al-Tamanaa, just to the east of Khan Sheikhoun. It confirmed that it was holding the pilot but gave no further information.

  • Who’s in control of Idlib?
  • Why does the battle for Idlib matter?
  • Why is there a war in Syria?

The government has stepped up its offensive in the region in recent months. Hundreds of civilians have been killed, and hundreds of thousands more driven from their homes.

Syria’s government, backed by Russia, is trying to recapture the region from rebels and jihadists.

Image copyright AFP

Image caption The plane left a large crater after being shot down near Khan Sheikhoun

Image copyright AFP

Image caption The pilot apparently bailed out and is being held by a jihadist group

Idlib, northern Hama and western Aleppo province make up the last opposition stronghold in Syria after eight years of civil war.

They are supposedly covered by a truce brokered in September by Russia and opposition-backer Turkey that spared the 2.7 million civilians living there from a major government offensive.

Civilian areas have been hit frequently since the Syrian government and Russia intensified their attacks earlier this year in response to what they said were repeated truce violations by jihadists linked to al-Qaeda, who dominate the region.

Image copyright AFP

Image caption The conflict has driven hundreds of thousands from their homes

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