A Russian Sukhoi-25 ground-attack aircraft has been shot down in a rebel-held area in Syria’s north-western province of Idlib. The Russian defence ministry said the pilot had ejected into an area believed to be controlled by the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance. Although he survived the crash he was killed in a ground fight. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – formerly linked to al-Qaeda – said it had shot down the plane.
Meanwhile, the Turkish military has suffered the deadliest day in its offensive against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) inside northern Syria, with seven soldiers killed. Five of the troops died when their tank was destroyed in the Afrin region. Turkish warplanes later struck areas north-east of the city of Afrin as the offensive enters its third week.
Lastly, Rihanna seems to have found made a new unlikely friend with French President Emmanuel Macron. The singer, who is an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education, headlined a conference in Dakar, Senegal, on Friday, which the French leader co-hosted, to raise money for education in developing countries. She thanked Macron who confirmed that France pledged 200 million euros, or about $250 million, to support the Global Partnership for Education’s efforts.