A pilot who ejected from the plane was captured, says Syrian Observatory for Human Rights after militants shoot down a regime warplane in Idlib province.
Militants shot down a Syrian regime warplane in the opposition and rebel stronghold of Idlib province on Wednesday as Russian-backed regime forces closed in on a strategically important town, rebel sources and a war monitor said.
A pilot who ejected from the plane was captured, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reports on the war using a network of sources. The Syrian regime later confirmed the incident.
The militant Tahrir al Sham, the most powerful militant group in the area, said its militants had shot down a Sukhoi 22 jet that had taken off from a Syrian air base in Homs province.
The jet was downed near Khan Shaykhun, a rebel-held town that was hit by a sarin gas attack in 2017 and is now being targeted in a Russian-backed regime offensive.
Regime forces seized new ground from rebels near Khan Shaykhun on Wednesday, advancing to within a few kilometres (miles) of the town. A rebel commander told Reuters that the town, in opposition hands since 2014, was in "great danger."
Dozens of people were killed in Khan Shaykhun in 2017 in the poison gas attack that prompted US President Donald Trump to order a missile strike against the Syrian airbase from where the United States said it had been launched.
An investigation conducted by the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the Syrian regime was responsible for releasing sarin on the town on April 4, 2017. Assad has denied using such weapons.
Syrian rebels have shot down regime planes on several occasions during the war that spiralled out of the uprising against regime leader Bashar al Assad in 2011.
Tahrir al Sham's statement did not say how the plane had been shot down. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said heavy machine guns had been used.
TRT World's Sara Firth has more.
The northwestern Idlib region is part of the last major stronghold of the opposition to Assad.
Assad's side had struggled to make any gains in the area in an offensive that got under way in late April. But since the collapse of a brief ceasefire this month, it has managed to take several significant positions, including the town of al Habeet on Saturday.
The advance towards Khan Shaykhun threatens to encircle the last remaining pocket of rebel-held territory in neighbouring Hama province, including the towns of Morek, Kafr Zeita and Latamneh.
The humanitarian adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syria said the new surge in violence in the northwest threatened the lives of millions after more than 500 civilians were killed since late April.
Tahrir al Sham is the latest incarnation of the group formerly known as the Nusra Front, which was Al Qaeda's official wing in the Syrian conflict until they parted ways in 2016.
The group is designated as a terrorist organisation by the UN Security Council.