On February 3, 2018 a Russian warplane was shot down over Syria by al-Nusra Front fighters. The Russian Su-25 plane was gunned down over the Idlib province. A witness stated that the pilot parachuted in an attempt to escape, but was shot and killed later on. President of Syria Bashar al-Assad has recently restarted the air strikes on areas controlled by rebels. Russia has been able to help Syrian government forces recapture much of the country that was controlled by rebels.