Al-Qaeda Downs Syria Warplane, Captures Pilot

Shootdown Happened Just West of Aleppo

A Syrian warplanes was shot down over the town of al-Eis today, just west of the major northern city of Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the shootdown was likely done by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

Details are still emerging, but the pilot was reportedly captured in the incident. A video was released by rebels claiming to show the capture of the pilot, but the authenticity of the video remains uncertain.

This is the second Syrian warplane shot down in the last month, with Islamist rebels previously downing one over the Hama Province. The Syrian military had previously claimed that the plane had gone down in a technical failure.

Rebel groups have acquired a growing array of anti-aircraft weaponry in Syria, mostly the result of CIA-backed Saudi shipments. Though these aren’t directly targeted at al-Qaeda, the group often gets a large portion of such shipments.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.