Warplane crashes near Damascus, causes unclear: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A warplane in Syria crashed southwest of Damascus on Friday, and it was not clear if it had been brought down by insurgent gunfire or suffered a technical fault, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

The plane crashed southwest of Damascus airport, the British-based monitoring group said, after flying over territory controlled by Islamic State. The fate of the pilot was not known.

Islamic State earlier said a Syrian warplane had been shot down. Its statement could not be independently verified.

(This version of the story corrects paragraph three to make clear that the Islamic State claimed the plane was shot down but did not take responsibility.)

Reporting by John Davison; Editing by Hugh Lawson