Russian Su-25 jet downed in Syria, pilot killed - Defense Ministry

774 civilians killed last month in Syria Rights group

The pilot was said to have ejected before the crash and been captured, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

The jet was a Sukhoi Su-25, a close air support aircraft designed in the 1970s.

The Idlib Media Center, an anti-government activist group, posted images that purportedly show the plane's wreckage.

The pilot of the plane or his body has allegedly been captured by the militants.

He could not immediately confirm which faction had shot down the warplane but hardline opposition factions and the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) are active in the area.

According to reports, the plane had taken off the Khmeimim air base in northern Syria and attacked near Idlib before being hit by a ground-to-air missile. The pilot parachuted down into the area controlled by Al-Nusra terrorist group, the statement said.

"The pilot died in a fight with terrorists", it said. Preliminary data showed the Su-25 plane was downed by a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD), the ministry said in a statement on Saturday. One of the armed men shouts: "He is Russian".

The pilot was later named on social media as Major Roman Filipov.

Russian Federation lost its second combat jet in Syria, after an Su-25 ground attack aircraft was shot down by rebels in the Idlib province.

Russian Federation has launched a bombing campaign against revel groups in Syria in support of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. De-escalation zones include the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo Provinces north of the city of Homs, Eastern Ghouta, as well as the Daraa and al-Quneitra Provinces in southern Syria. The province is one of the last rebel-held bastions in Syria.

Russian Federation have been carrying out dozens of air strikes in the area over the past 24 hours, and the aircraft was one among them.

About 45 Russian military personnel have been confirmed dead in Syria, along with an unknown number of contractors.

In August 2016, a Russian military helicopter was shot down over Syria and all five people on board were killed.

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