Al-Qaeda Forces Shoot Down Syrian Warplane Over Idlib

Observatory claims the pilot was captured

Al-Qaeda forces in the Idlib Province had a rare success in shooting down a Syrian warplane in the area. The Su-22 jet had just taken off from Homs Province, and was shot down near Khan Sheikhoun.

Details on shooting down the plane are still not clear, beyond it being done by al-Qaeda’s Tahrir al-Sham. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that the pilot was captured, though Syrian state media made no such reports.

Though the rebels in Idlib are known to have anti-aircraft weapons, the indications are that the Su-22 was actually shot down with heavy machine gun fire. Syria rarely loses planes over rebel area.

The loss of a pilot could be a politically embarrassing situation for Syria, if it turns out to be accurate. Negotiating an exchange would probably be at least attempted, assuming al-Qaeda doesn’t immediately execute him.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.