A Syrian military plane crashed in Turkey on Saturday near the country's border with Syria, the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu said.

The plane crashed in the Turkish province of Hatay, it said, quoting provincial governor Erdal Ata as saying police and medical teams were at the site.

“The plane's cockpit was empty. We believe that the pilots parachuted out,” Ata said, adding that a search for them was underway.

A Syrian military source quoted by state television said “contact was lost with a military aircraft on a reconnaissance mission near the Turkish border.”

The Syrian rebel group Ahrar al-Sham told AFP that it had shot down a government plane “as it was overflying Idlib province (in northwestern Syria) and carrying out air strikes.”

A monitor of the conflict, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that a plane “which probably belongs to the Syrian regime crashed in Idlib province.

The status of the pilot is unknown and there are contradictory reasons for the cause of the crash.”

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, quoted by Anadolu, said earlier that the cause of the crash was unknown, but he pointed to poor weather conditions at the time.

Inhabitants of the Turkish border village of Samandag said they heard a loud noise at around 6:30 pm (1530 GMT) and alerted the police, the Dogan news agency said.