Syrians drop a Russian fighter plane Saturday in the northern province of Idlib.
The Russian Defense Ministry and the Syrian rebels said the pilot had got out of the plane but was killed. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that the pilot had died but gave no further details.

The province of Idlib has seen heavy air raids and battles between the regime forces backed by Russia, Iran and rebels.

A source in the rebel movement said the Russian plane was shot down over Khan al-Sabel city near the town of Sarakib, near the main highway.

The source said that although the Russian pilot survived the incident, he was killed by rebels who tried to arrest him.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the plane was shot down with a portable air-to-air missile. She confirmed that a Russian Su-25 plane crashed in Syria and that the pilot was killed.

MOSC quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that Moscow had responded by killing more than 30 militants in an area in Idlib province where the plane was shot down.

The fighter jet was one of the planes used to target civilian convoys that fled along the main Syrian highway from villages ravaged by the regime and its allies.

The civil war in Syria, which is in its eighth year, has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced more than 11 million from their homes.

Syrians in rebel-held areas say they can distinguish between Russian and Syrian air force planes because Russian planes fly at high altitudes.

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