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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, February 19, 2018

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Idlib battle: Russian Su-25 jet shot down by Syrian rebels

Russian Su-25 warplane had been brought down in Syria

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MOSCOW, Russia - The Russian Defense Minister said in a statement issued on the TASS news agency that a Russian Su-25 warplane had been brought down in Syria.

The statement added that the pilot ejecting by parachute into an area believed to be controlled by the al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance.

According to Moscow, although the pilot survived the crash he was killed in a ground fight.

Following the statement, Syrian rebels issued a statement saying that they brought down the Russian warplane in an area of northern Syria's Idlib province, which has seen heavy air strikes.

The TASS news agency further quoted Russia's Defence Ministry as saying that a Russian strike from an undisclosed high-precision weapon killed over 30 militants in an area of Syria's Idlib where the Russian plane was downed.

According to reports, at least five civilians were killed in a bombing of rebel-held Saraqeb city, but residents blamed these deaths on Russian jets.

Meanwhile, Syrians in rebel-held areas argued that they can distinguish between Russian warplanes and those of the Syrian air force considering the Russian planes fly at a higher altitude.

Residents claim that due to the airstrikes, thousands of people have been forced to flee the area.

These civilians have been forced to move further north to the safety of makeshift camps constructed on the Syrian side of the Turkish border.

So far, the Syrian civil war, which is now entering its eighth year, has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and has driven over 11 million from their homes.

 

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