A Syrian military jet has been shot down by militants in the northern Hama province, the Syrian state broadcaster has confirmed, adding that a pilot was killed in the attack.
“The military aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Hama after it was shot down by terrorists; the pilot was killed,” the Syrian state-run SANA news agency quoted a source as saying. The plane, identified as a L-39 Albatros jet trainer, was shot down by anti-aircraft machine guns belonging to Islamist militants, a source within the Syrian opposition told Al-Masdar News.
It was not immediately clear which militant group was responsible for the attack, but the so-called Free Idlib Army, an offshoot of the Free Syrian Army, claimed responsibility on social media.
A video later emerged purportedly showing the aircraft’s pilot being executed by terrorists from the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate group. The militants allegedly decapitated him in the village of Um Haratain in the north of Hama, the site of fierce fighting between militants and government forces.
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