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Nusra claims downing of two Russian drones in Syria

Al-Qaeda affiliate says it shot down two Russian aircraft operating over the Abu Duhur military airport in Idlib province
A picture released by Nusra of one of the crashed drones.

Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, has claimed to have shot down two Russian reconnaissance drones over a military airport it controls in northwest Syria. 

If confirmed, the incident would be the first time that the armed opposition have downed a Russian aircraft since Moscow launched strikes in Syria on 30 September.

In a post late on Tuesday on one of its Twitter accounts, Nusra claimed the "downing of two Russian reconnaissance drones over Abu Duhur military airport" in Idlib province. 

The group posted a picture of wreckage of a large plane as well as two others of a small plane on fire with larger military aircraft parked in the background.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group also said Nusra had downed two drones over Abu Duhur, but could not specify if they were Russian.

Some commentators however said the wreckage was from cruise missiles that had malfunctioned.

Nusra and its allies in the powerful Army of Conquest alliance seized Abu Duhur on 9 September, consolidating its control of Idlib province.

Syria's army began using Russian-provided unmanned drones in the north and east Syria on September 23, just a week before Moscow began its own air war in Syria.