Russian pilot killed after plane shot down by Syrian rebels

It's after a Russian military pilot was reportedly killed after his fighter jet was shot down.

TASS reported that "according to preliminary information, the plane was shot down from a portable anti-aircraft missile system".

"The pilot reported on a bailout in an area controlled by rebels Jabhat Fatah al-Sham [previously known as al-Nusra Front]". 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.

Syria's state news agency, SANA, said Syrian troops captured the village of Maasaran as well as the Tel Tokan hill, cutting links between Saraqeb and the rebel-stronghold of Maarest al-Numan to the south.

The downing of the plane came as Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air support and Iranian infantry, have intensified their offensive in Idlib, one of the last rebel-held bastions in Syria.

The downing of the aircraft is a rare instance of a Russian jet being shot down by rebels.

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Russian military correspondent Aleksandr Kots posted on social media a video purportedly showing rebel fighters picking over the burning wreckage of an Su-25.

Russian Federation has acted alongside its Syrian allies targeting rebels in the area. The UN said some 100,000 civilians have been displaced.

Warplanes and helicopters struck in Idlib, Hama and Aleppo provinces, including in the towns of Saraqeb and Kafr Nabouda, said the war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It is not clear which group was responsible for downing the fighter jet.

Turkey shares a 911-kilometre border with Syria.