Syrian rebels shot down a Russian warplane on Saturday and killed its pilot on the ground after he ejected from the plane, Russia’s defense ministry and Syrian rebels said.

The SU-25 came down in an area of northern Idlib province that has seen heavy air strikes and fighting on the ground between Syria’s government forces backed by Russia and Iran, and rebel groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

“The United States has never provided MANPAD missiles to any group in Syria, and we are deeply concerned that such weapons are being used,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert. “The solution to the violence is a return to the Geneva process as soon as possible and we call on Russia to live up to its commitments in that regards.” – Reuters

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Syrian Rebels Shoot Down Russian Aircraft Killing Pilot