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    A MiG-23 aircraft of the Syrian Air Force lands at the Hama airbase near the city of Hama, Syria's Hama Province

    Pilot of Syrian Jet That Crashed in Turkey Says Plane Was Shot Down

    © Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
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    The pilot of a Syrian military aircraft, which crashed in Turkey a day ago, said that the plane was shot down, Turkish newspaper Aksam reported Sunday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — According to the Turkish newspaper, the pilot said that the jet took off from the military airbase in Syria's Latakia to carry out airstrikes on militants' targets near the Syrian city of Idlib close to the Turkish border, but was shot down during the operation.

    The newspaper did not specify who attacked the Syrian jet. Pilot Mehmet Sufhan, 56, ejected from the plane, receiving several bone fractures and face injuries. He was rescued during a search operation and admitted to a hospital in Turkey's Hatay province.

    On Saturday, an Islamist coalition called Ahrar al-Sham claimed it shot down a plane, allegedly a MiG-21. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed that a Syrian military plane crashed in Turkey's southern Hatay province. Media reports said, citing Turkish sources, that the jet was a MiG-23 fighter rather than a MiG-21.

    Debris of a crashed Syrian fighter jet were found near the Turkish border with Syria, according to the Hatay province governor.

    The pilot was rescued during a search operation and admitted to a hospital in Turkey's Hatay province.

    The news comes amid the nationwide ceasefire in Syria between Damascus and Syrian rebels that came into force on December 30, and has been holding up in general, despite continued reports of violations. The UN Security Council passed a resolution in December supporting the effort.

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    MiG-23, Turkey, Syria
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