Islamist rebels affiliated with al-Qaeda have shot down a Syrian army jet in the country's northern province of Aleppo. Syrian state television has verified the crash with images shared on social media, apparently showing a Syrian Airforce pilot with the rebels.

The UK-based Syria Observatory for Human Rights has confirmed a plume of smoke was seen as the plane caught fire before it fell in the Talat al-Iss highland, with other reports confirming the jet was downed near the northern village of al-Ais.

Syrian state television has said the jet was brought down by a surface-to-air missile, adding that the pilot was able to eject from the jet, described on social media as an SU-22.

One video shared on social media appeared to show the Syrian pilot surrounded by rebels. A later picture may have shown the pilot had been killed or was unconscious.

The US and Russia agreed to push for a broad ceasefire in Syria in February to allow humanitarian aid to be dispersed in the areas worst-hit by the fighting.

The truce does not apply to combat operations against jihadist groups such as Islamic State (Isis) and the al-Nusra Front.

More than 250,000 people have been killed in Syria since fighting broke out between government forces and opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in 2011.