Aircraft attack civilian convoy on Syrian highway, at least seven killed - rescuers

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The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the downing of the Su-25 and said the pilot was killed in fighting with "terrorists".

A Russian fighter jet has been shot down in a rebel held area in north-eastern Syria's Idlib province, according to reports.

The Su-25 is a single-seat, twin-engine jet created to provide close air support for troops on the ground.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the plane came down on Saturday afternoon near the rebel-held town of Saraqeb, which Syrian troops have been trying to reach under the cover of Russian airstrikes.

It was not clear which rebel group was involved, but the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is the most active force in the area.

A Russian warplane was shot down Saturday in Syria, according to Russian state-run news agencies. The defence ministry said that the aircraft was downed by a portable surface-to-air missile. The Russian statement said the area was controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra militants. "When conducting a fight with terrorists, the pilot died", the Defense Ministry said.

Civil defence worker from Saraqeb Ammar al Adnan said: "We believe two Russian planes struck the convoy of civilians on the highway and left at least seven killed and twelve injured, mostly elderly and children".

A major Syrian army offensive, begun earlier this year in southern Aleppo and eastern Idlib, has allowed it to take control of a large amount of territory from rebel forces.

Video posted on social media appeared to show the plane being hit, while other video showed burning wreckage on the ground, with a red star on a wing.

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

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura, who attended the meeting, said the United Nations would lead efforts to form the commission.

Moscow began conducting air strikes in Syria in September 2015.