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Syrian Army Plane Crashes, Killing 5

Idlib province, Syria
Idlib province, Syria

A Syrian army cargo plane crashed in the northwest of the country overnight, with the government blaming the crash on bad weather and the Nusra Front saying they had shot down the plane.

The crash was also reported by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said at least five people were killed in the accident. The army cargo plane was carrying food and ammunition.

Reuters could not verify either account due to security and reporting restrictions in Syria. But the French news agency said state media and the Syrian Observatory blamed the crash on the weather.

State news agency SANA said the plane crashed while attempting to land at the Abu al-Duhur military airport in Idlib province.

Militant groups have previously shot down Syrian air force jets and helicopters during Syria's civil war, which erupted after the government cracked down on pro-democracy protests in 2011.

A U.S.-led coalition is flying sorties in Syria to strike the hardline Islamic State group, an offshoot of al-Qaida that is also fighting the Syrian army.

In December, Islamic State group militants shot down a Jordanian plane participating in an international coalition against the Islamist group and captured its pilot near Raqqa.

Material for this report came from Reuters and AFP.

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