Turkey guns down Syrian govt jet as rebel-regime border fighting continues for third straight day
While border fighting continued over the weekend, so did regime barrel bombing of Syria's second largest city of Aleppo (Baraa Al Halabi/AFP)
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Turkey gunned down a Syrian government warplane Sunday as Syrian regime and opposition fighters continued fighting near Turkish border for a third straight day, according to Al Arabiya News and Agence France Presse.
"Turkish air defenses targeted a Syrian fighter bomber as it struck areas of the northern province of Latakia. The plane caught fire and crashed in Syrian territory," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported earlier Sunday that "Fighters from (the Al-Qaeda-affiliated) Al Nusra Front and other groups have attacked the (Kasab) crossing and forced out regime forces and national defence auxiliaries."
At least 80 people have been killed since the fighting began Friday.
Intense fighting was also reported near President Bashar Al Assad's family village.
Latakia province, which is considered a regime stronghold, was attacked by Nusra fighters along with their Islamist counterparts from Sham Al Islam and Ansar Al Sham in a new offensive the extremists have called "Anfal."
The Observatory reported that "significant government reinforcements" have been sent to the province to fight the new offensive.
In response to the Kassab border crossing, Assad accused Turkey earlier this week of "providing cover to rebels."