A Russian pilot was killed Saturday (February 3rd) in northwestern Syria. His plane was shot down by a jihadist group fire in Idleb Province.

A pilot of Russian aviation was killed Saturday, February 3 after the destruction of his plane. His plane was shot by a jihadist group controlling the province of Idleb. A little further north in the war-torn country, seven Turkish soldiers were killed in fighting against a Kurdish militia described as “terrorist” and targeted by a major offensive in Ankara. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights ( OSDH ), the Russian plane was shot down over the city of Maasran. The pilot, who was able to parachute before being captured, used his firearm before being shot.

At the end of December, with the support of the Russian air force, the government troops launched an offensive in Idleb province, controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Cham – a jihadist group dominated by the former local branch of Al -Qaeda. Qaeda – and several rebel groups. This province is the last to completely escape the power of Damascus. “There have been dozens of Russian strikes on the area in the past 24 hours, and this plane was also carrying out raids,” Abdel Rahman said. A Agence France-Presse reporter who was able to go to the scene of the crash, saw the carcass of the plane, one of whose wings was flanked by a red star. Firefighters were trying to extinguish the flames that emitted thick smoke in the sky.

Moscow confirmed the death of the pilot

In a statement posted on his Ibaa propaganda channel, Hayat Tahrir al-Cham claimed responsibility for the attack on the Russian plane, not to mention the pilot. Moscow, which has intervened militarily in Syria since September 2015 in support of Damascus regime forces, has confirmed the death of its pilot. “A Russian plane Su-25 crashed during a flight over Idleb and the pilot had time to announce he had ejected,” the Russian ministry said. of the Defense quoted by news agencies. He was “killed in fighting against terrorists,” he said.

On another front, in the Afrine region, seven Turkish soldiers were killed, making Saturday the deadliest day for the Ankara army since the launch of its offensive on 20 January. The Turkey , combined with Syrian rebels, says he wants to chase its border the Kurdish militia of People’s Protection Units (YPG), it considers a “terrorist” group, but must ally of Washington in the fight against the jihadists in Syria. Several thousand Kurds marched Saturday in Paris and Strasbourg, seat of the European Parliament, to protest against this offensive.

This, along with the violence in Idleb, displaced tens of thousands of people. Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Saturday accused Turkish border guards of firing against Syrians trying to cross into Turkey. “Syrians fleeing to the Turkish border in search of security and asylum are forcibly returned: they are the target of gunfire or abuse,” said Lama Fakih, deputy director of the Middle East at HRW .

For Turkey, Assad will have to leave “at some point”

But for the spokesman of the Turkish president, Ibrahim Kalin, his country applies since the beginning of the Syrian conflict the policy of the “open door” with the refugees. “I do not know if this is an isolated case or not, but we will certainly consider” the allegations of HRW, he said to the press. Turkey, which supports the Syrian opposition, said on Saturday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will have to leave “at some point”. He is not the leader who “will keep Syria united and secure for all Syrians,” said Ibrahim Kalin.

The question of Bashar al-Assad’s future is one of the main stumbling blocks to international mediation aimed at ending the conflict that has claimed more than 340,000 lives and millions of displaced people and refugees. The United States also pointed to the Syrian regime, which they suspect has recently used sarin gas, even though they acknowledged Friday that they have no evidence yet to support this assumption. “These are lies based on the stories of the so-called American partners on the ground,” Syrian Foreign Minister, quoted by the official Sana agency, said Saturday.