Syria rebels claim jet downing as army advances in Aleppo
Syrian rebels claimed they downed a fighter jet on Monday in what would be a major coup for the opposition but the regime seized the upper hand in Aleppo as it advanced into a new rebel-held district. Government forces also bombarded areas around Damascus and launched a wide sweep of the capital while shocking videos emerged showing alleged rebel atrocities in the Aleppo area. State media said a military plane had crashed in the east of the country while on training patrol after suffering a technical malfunction and that the pilot had ejected.
But the Free Syria Army, which has been calling for the international community to arm it with anti-aircraft weapons as it battles escalating regime attacks from the sky, claimed it shot down the plane in the Deir Ezzor . “Yes, we can confirm that a MiG 21 has been downed,” said FSA spokesman. “It was hit with 14.5 calibre anti-aircraft machinegun.” A group of rebels calling itself the “Revolutionary Youth of the Land of the Euphrates” distributed a video showing a man identified as pilot Mufid Mohammed Suleiman, surrounded by armed men.