IS Shoots Down Syrian Warplane

A damaged highway is pictured in the rebel-held al-Shaar neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria, September 17, 2016. Picture taken September 17, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
A damaged highway is pictured in the rebel-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Sept. 17. (Reuters/Abdalrhman Ismail)

BEIRUT (Reuters/AP) - Islamic State shot down a Syrian military plane in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor, the Islamic State-affiliated news agency Amaq said on Sunday.

“A Syrian warplane belonging to the Syrian regime was brought down when targeted by fighters from the Islamic State in the city of Deir al-Zor,” Amaq said in an online statement.

The Observatory said the plane came down in the Jebel Tharda area which overlooks the government’s Deir al Zor military airport.

Jebel Tharda is where on Saturday U.S.-led coalition air strikes reportedly killed dozens of Syrian soldiers, endangering a U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefire and prompting an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting as tensions between Moscow and Washington escalated.

The city’s airport and some government-held districts have been entirely surrounded by the Islamic State terror group since last year, with the airport providing the only external access.

Intense air strikes over the past 24 hours have hit Islamic State controlled areas near Deir al Zor city, the Observatory and Syrian state media said.

Meanwhile, Syria’s state news agency reported that troops have regained control of areas they lost to the Islamic State terror group in the east of the country after an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition.

SANA quoted an unnamed military official as saying Sunday that dozens of IS terrorists were killed in the offensive under the cover of Syrian airstrikes.

The Syrian military official said government troops had regained control of areas the terrorists captured “as a result of the American aircraft aggression.”

The U.S. military said it may have unintentionally struck Syrian troops while carrying out a raid against IS on Saturday.

Russia’s military said it was told by the Syrian army that at least 62 soldiers were killed in the Deir el-Zour air raid and more than 100 wounded.