Syrian rebel officials confirmed an attack on Syrian Airways flight RB201 today, damaging the plane during takeoff with sniper attacks. Most of the damage appears to have centered on the plane’s tires, and commanders said that it was a “warning.”
“We wanted to send a message to the regime that all their planes – military and civilian – are within our reach,” noted Commander Khaldoun, saying the all flights out of Aleppo and Damascus are subject to attack.
The civilian airliner was bound for Cairo, and has mostly flown out of Damascus in recent weeks. The rebels say attacks will continue against the plane in Damascus no matter the cost.
Rebels have repeatedly said that civilian aircraft were “legitimate” targets over the past few months, but today was the first time a plane was confirmed hit by rebel fire. They insist the civilian aircraft are ferrying in weapons, though so far they have not provided any evidence for this charge.