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Pilot of crashed Syrian plane rescued in Turkey

BREAKING: Plane crash in Turkey as teams scramble to find ejected pilot

Turkey's state-run news agency Anadolu quoted a spokesman for the Islamist group Ahrar-al_sham, Ahmed Karaali, saying the regime plane was allegedly bombing Idlib province in northern Syria when it was shot down by the opposition forces.

Syrian helicopters were shot down for violating Turkish airspace in 2013 and 2015, and a Syrian MIG jet was shot down in 2014 for the same violation.

The jet crashed on Saturday near the village of Yaylacik. "We believe the pilot has ejected safely", said Hatay Governor Erdal Ata.

Reports suggest that the plane was brought down in the Turkish province of Hatay, but no information has been provided about the pilot.

The pilot, who appeared to be aged between 50 and 55, and decorated with the colonel grade of Assad's army, has been taken to hospital.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yldirim on March 4 told Turkish television that a Syrian MIG-23 military fighter jet crashed and that the pilot or pilots bailed out.

Combat operations by many militia and government forces come close to Turkey's long frontier with Syria.

He was found exhausted after a nine-hour search by Turkish security teams and was being given medical care at a local medical centre.

Communication with Syrian war jet was lost while the warplane was on a reconnaissance mission near the Turkish borders on Saturday, state TV reported.

Turkey supports rebel forces in Syria, which oppose the government of Bashar al-Assad.