BEIRUT(AFP), 3 August, 2015 :Â Â On Monday, a Syrian military aircraft crashed while on a bombing run over the rebel-held northwestern town of Ariha , leaving at least 31 people dead, a monitoring group said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was not immediately clear how many of the dead were from the crash and how many from the prior bombardment.
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said,”It was flying at a low altitude when it had a mechanical failure.”
Abdel Rahman said “At least 31 people, including two children, were killed. Five of them have not been identified,” , citing medical officials and residents inside the town. At least 60 people were wounded, he added .
LocalsÂ by the siteÂ said the plane had crashed near a vegetable market, causing “a huge blast” .
The Observatory, which dependsÂ on a wide network of activists, medics, and fighters throughout war-torn Syria, said the fate of the pilot was unidentified.
Time and againÂ pounding rebel-held towns, the Damascus regime has dependedÂ heavily on its monopoly of air power in the four-year-old civil war.Â It has lost a number of aircraft, some to rebel fire, some to mechanical failure. AÂ military aircraft crashed in Idlib in Â mid-January killing at least 35 government troops.