> Syrian rebels shot down a Russian war plane in northern Syria Saturday, the wreckage seen here in an amateur video obtained by Reuters. The plane was targeted in the Idlib province, which has seen heavy fighting. Another video posted to social media claims to show the pilot escaping using a parachute, but according to the Russian Defense Ministry, he was later captured and killed during a fight with militants.
Moscow said it retaliated soon after with an airstrike that killed more than 30 militants in the same area where the plane was downed. The rebels claimed they took down the Russian aircraft because it had targeted civilian convoys fleeing along a major highway, killing seven civilians and injuring scores more.
Since Russia joined the war on the side of the Syrian government in 2015, rebels have lost control of nearly all major population centers but they still maintain a stronghold in Idlib. The civil war now in its eighth year has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven more than 11 million Syrians from their homes.