Rebels shot down a Syrian warplane in the opposition stronghold of Idlib province on Wednesday as Russian-backed government forces closed in on a strategically important town.
The Syrian state news agency SANA said the warplane had been hit by an anti-aircraft missile fired by militants while on a mission “to destroy headquarters of the Nusra Front,” a jihadist group now known as Tahrir al-Sham. Tahrir al-Sham, the most powerful insurgent group in the area, said its fighters had shot down a Sukhoi 22 jet that had taken off from a Syrian air base in Homs province. It did not say how the jet had been brought down.
SANA said the pilot‘s fate was unknown. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reports on the war using a network of sources, said a pilot who ejected from the plane had been captured by insurgents.
The Observatory said heavy machine guns had been used to shoot down the jet.