Syrian rebels release footage of shooting down Russian warplane

Syrian rebels say they brought down a Russian warplane in an area of northern Syria's Idlib province that has seen heavy air strikes, and two rebel sources say they had captured the pilot who was badly injured.

A rebel source said the Sukhoi plane was shot down over Khan al-Subl town near the city of Saraqeb, close to a major highway that has come under fierce air attack, where the Syrian army and Iranian-backed militias are trying to advance on the ground.

Two rebel sources said the pilot was badly injured after escaping the crash by parachute. A third rebel source said he was killed.

In Moscow, the TASS news agency, quoting Russia's defence ministry, said a Russian Su-25 warplane was brought down in Syria and the pilot died after ejecting by parachute.

At least five civilians were killed in the bombing of rebel-held Saraqeb city on Saturday, which residents blamed on Russian jets. Syrians in rebel-held areas say they can distinguish between Russian warplanes and those of the Syrian air force, because the Russian planes fly at higher altitude.

Residents say thousands of people have been forced by air strikes to flee the area, moving further north to the safety of makeshift camps constructed on the Syrian side of the Turkish border.

Reuters