News

Syrian pilot killed as Turkey downs warplane: monitor

March 3, 2020 06:55 PM


A Turkish fighter jet Tuesday downed a Syrian regime warplane in the northwestern Idlib province and the pilot was killed, a monitoring group said.

It was the third such downing in three days amid escalating fighting between Turkish forces and Syria's Russian- and Iranian-backed regime. A missile fired by Syrian regime forces on the city of Idlib, meanwhile, killed nine civilians in the province of the same name that is Syria's last opposition bastion.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have since December battled to retake the jihadist-dominated stronghold, where Ankara backs some rebel groups. The deadly offensive has caused almost a million people to flee their homes and shelters, and triggered a direct Turkish military intervention last week.

A Turkish F-16 downed the regime plane over Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor and a source at the Turkish defence ministry said. The Britain-based monitor said it was not clear if the pilot was killed during the downing or afterwards by opposition fighters, and that his body was mutilated.

Syrian state news agency SANA quoted a military source as confirming one of its planes was downed, after two others suffered the same fate on Sunday. "One of our warplanes carrying out a mission in southern Idlib... was hit by a missile fired by Turkish regime forces, leading to its downing," the source said.

The Turkish ministry said the regime plane was an L-39. Also on Tuesday, a surface-to-surface missile fired by regime forces hit an Idlib residential neighbourhood, killing nine civilians including five children, the Observatory said.

That brings the civilian death toll since December to more than 470, according to the monitor. Damascus meanwhile also claimed it had downed a Turkish drone near the town of Saraqeb, two days after it said it had hit three other unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Turkish operation comes after an air strike on Thursday blamed on Damascus killed 34 Turkish soldiers in the region. The Observatory says Turkish bombardment -- mostly drone strikes -- has killed 119 regime soldiers and 20 allied fighters since.

On Sunday, Damascus closed its air space over northwest Syria and threatening to shoot down any "enemy" aircraft violating it. The Syrian conflict has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions since it began in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.



Most Read

  1. Yet another burden on people: Govt hikes oil prices Yet another burden on people: Govt hikes oil prices
  2. Adil Raja loses pleas to dismiss Naseer’s defamation suits Adil Raja loses pleas to dismiss Naseer’s defamation suits
  3. Nadeem Mahboob named federal health secretary Nadeem Mahboob named federal health secretary
  4. Amir Tanba, linked to Indian spy Sarabjit Singh's jail killing, killed in Lahore Amir Tanba, linked to Indian spy Sarabjit Singh's jail killing, killed in Lahore
  5. Public reacts to Bohemia's music video ‘Salsa’ starring Sistrology Public reacts to Bohemia's music video ‘Salsa’ starring Sistrology
  6. Saudis offered PIA, airports, joint ventures to build five-star hotels Saudis offered PIA, airports, joint ventures to build five-star hotels

Opinion

  1. Insights into the Pakistan Stock Exchange's Recent Record High Triumph
    Insights into the Pakistan Stock Exchange's Recent Record High Triumph

    By Zulfiqar Ali Mir

  2. IMEC to sabotage CPEC
    IMEC to sabotage CPEC

    By Dr Asif Channer

  3. 1947 TO FORM 47
    1947 TO FORM 47

    By Dr Asif Channer

  4. Beijing wants to further highlight industrial sector in its country and take scientific innovation to new heights....
    Beijing wants to further highlight industrial sector in its country and take scientific innovation to new heights....

    By Ali Ramay

  5. Global race: China will reduce its unnecessary expenses
    Global race: China will reduce its unnecessary expenses

    By Ali Ramay

  6. Channer Pir: The Great Saint of Cholistan
    Channer Pir: The Great Saint of Cholistan

    By Dr Asif Channer