Syria army plane crashes in rebel-held town: monitor

airplane_crashA Syrian military aircraft crashed while on a bombing run over the rebel-held northwestern town of Ariha on Monday, leaving at least 12 people dead, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was not immediately clear how many of the dead were from the crash and how many from the prior bombardment.

“It was flying at a low altitude when it had a mechanical failure,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

He said dozens of people were also wounded in the Idlib province town which the rebels captured on May 28.

The Damascus regime has relied heavily on its monopoly of air power in the four-year-old civil war, repeatedly pounding rebel-held towns.

It has lost a number of aircraft, some to rebel fire, some to mechanical failure.

In mid-January, at least 35 government troops were killed when a military aircraft crashed in Idlib.

The province has since been largely overrun by a rebel alliance including Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

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