Islamic State (Isis) militants have shot down a Syrian warplane in the province of Homs, a local activist group has reported.
The jihadi group brought down a Soviet-made Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft near the Shaar gas field in the desert region of Palmyra, east of Homs city, according to local opposition collective Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently.
"We know from activists in the area that the warplane is from the Syrian regime," Azoz al-Hamza a member of the group that documents IS human rights abuses, told IBTimes UK.
The Shaar gas field has been the object of intense fighting between Islamist militants and government forces in recent months.
Hamza said it was not immediately clear whether the pilots of the two-seater supersonic aircraft had survived the crash. "They haven't found the pilots yet," he said.
In February, IS released shocking footage showing a Jordanian pilot, who had been captured in December after his F-16 fighter jet crashed in northern Syria, being burnt alive inside a cage.
The Su-24 downing came as the Islamist group has launched an offensive against troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in the western Homs province.
Overnight, IS militants attacked a regime-controlled airport in Tadmur, The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights reported.
"Clashes took place after midnight between regime forces and IS around Tadmur military airport after the IS attacked the airport in an attempt to take control of it, reports of losses on both sides," the London-based activist group said.
At the weekend several government airmen were captured by other Syrian rebel groups, including members of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, after their helicopter crashed in the north-western Idlib province.
The helicopter was said to have experienced a technical malfunction that caused it to make an emergency crash-land in rebel-held territory.