A Syrian pilot shot down south of Aleppo has been captured by the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front, a monitoring group has said.

Syria's military said the plane, which had been on a reconnaissance mission, was brought down by a surface-to-air missile fired by Islamist rebels.

It said the pilot had ejected and a rescue mission was underway.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighters from the Al Nusra Front had taken him to one of their bases in the area.

A plume of smoke was seen as the plane caught fire, the Observatory said, before it fell into an area of highland known as Talat al-Iss.

Syrian and Russian planes have been bombarding the area since it was captured by rebels this week.

Videos posted on social media showed rebels surrounding the plane's burnt-out wreckage.

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