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Syrian fighter plane goes missing near Turkey



A Syrian fighter jet has gone missing during a reconnaissance mission close to the border with Turkey.

On Saturday evening, the Syrian army announced that it had lost contact with one of its reconnaissance planes, adding that search parties are currently trying to locate its pilot, who is thought to have ejected.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has confirmed that a Syrian MiG-23 warplane crashed in the town of Samandag in Turkey’s border province of Hatay.

He added that the reasons behind the plane’s crash was still not clear but “it may be due to weather conditions.”

The governor of Hatay, Erdal Ata, said that rescue teams had found the plane’s cockpit empty when they arrived at the scene.

The Ahrar al-Sham Takfiri militant group, which is active in the region, claims to have downed the plane.

For nearly six years, Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy. The UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated in August last year that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then. The world body stopped its official casualty count in the war-torn country, citing its inability to verify the figures it received from various sources.

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