Pilot of crashed Syrian jet rescued in Turkey

Pilot of crashed Syrian jet rescued in Turkey

Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamist alliance that controls large swathes of Idlib province, claimed the jet it was downed using a 23 millimetre machine gun as it was bombing the countryside in the north-west of the province.

The Syrian rebel group Ahrar al-Sham told AFP that it had shot down a government plane "as it was overflying Idlib province (in northwestern Syria) and carrying out air strikes".

Speaking to reporters in the southern border province of Hatay, Nurettin Canikli said the status of the pilot remained uncertain and would be clear within the coming days. Canikli said the pilot had "a few" broken bones and was receiving treatment at a local hospital, but wasn't in critical condition.

On Sunday, Anadolu reported that the pilot was found and taken to hospital, adding that he had managed to use his parachute to land safely.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said a search was under way for the pilot, who may have come down on the Turkish side of the frontier. Turkey had not scrambled fighter jets before the plane crashed as officials confirmed that there was no violation of Ankara's airspace.

Part of the wreckage of a Syrian jet fighter that crashed on Turkish territory.

Syrian state media said on Saturday its forces had been expanding control over former Islamic State-held villages in northwest Syria, an area close to Turkey's Hatay region where the aircraft crashed.

Turkey has been one of the foremost critics of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and supports rebels fighting him in the country's six-year-old war.

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