News / Middle East

    Syrian Rebels Claim to Shoot Down Plane

    This image made from amateur video released by R.Y.E. Syria purports to show a Syrian plane downed over the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, Syria, August 13, 2012. This image made from amateur video released by R.Y.E. Syria purports to show a Syrian plane downed over the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, Syria, August 13, 2012.
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    This image made from amateur video released by R.Y.E. Syria purports to show a Syrian plane downed over the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, Syria, August 13, 2012.
    This image made from amateur video released by R.Y.E. Syria purports to show a Syrian plane downed over the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, Syria, August 13, 2012.
    VOA News
    Syrian state media say a pilot ejected Monday after suffering technical problems, while rebels claimed they shot down the government's warplane.

    The official news agency SANA said a military plane encountered technical problems during what it called a "routine training mission" in eastern Syria.  The pilot ejected and authorities are now searching for him.

    Opposition activists posted amateur video on YouTube showing a fighter jet flying through the sound of heavy fire, erupting in a ball of flames and trailing a line of smoke.  Someone off-camera celebrates, saying the plane had been hit in the town of Mohassen in Deir al-Zor province.

    It is not possible to independently verify the video or the observer's claims.

    According to eyewitness reports, the Syrian government has been using fighter jets as part of its most recent assaults on rebel-held areas across the country.

    ​In the latest violence, opposition activists say 50 Syrians -- including 31 civilians -- have been confirmed dead so far Monday.

    The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said most of the deaths occurred during a government bombardment on the town of Irbeen.  It is impossible to independently verify the claim.

    • A Free Syrian Army fighter observes the area during clashes in Aleppo, August 16, 2012.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter carries the body of a fellow fighter in Aleppo, August 16, 2012.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter reads the Quran before clashes in Aleppo, August 16, 2012.
    • A man searches among houses that were destroyed during a recent Syrian Air Force air strike in Azaz, August 15, 2012.
    • Syrians evacuate a wounded man from under the rubble after an air strike destroyed at least ten houses in Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, August 15, 2012.
    • Injured Syrian women arrive at a field hospital after an air strike hit their homes in the town of Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, August 15, 2012.
    • A Syrian man carries an injured child to a field hospital after an air strike hit homes in Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, August 15, 2012.
    • Wounded Syrians arrive at a field hospital after an air strike hit their homes in Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, August 15, 2012.
    • Syrians wounded in an air strike that hit their homes evacuate a field hospital after a second air strike in Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, August 15, 2012.
    • Wounded Syrians evacuate a field hospital after a second air strike in Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, August 15, 2012.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter passes an AK-47 rifle to his fellow fighter in Aleppo, August 14, 2012.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter reacts after hearing news that his commander had been killed by tank shell in Aleppo, August 14, 2012.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter fires his sniper rifle from a house in Aleppo, August 14, 2012.
    • Free Syrian Army fighters sit behind a barricade on a street in Aleppo, August 13, 2012.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter observes the area with a pair of binoculars in Aleppo, August 13, 2012.

    Later this week, the United Nations humanitarian chief is expected to travel to Syria and Lebanon to discuss ways of increasing aid to civilians caught up in the conflict.

    Valerie Amos announced Monday that the three-day visit, beginning Tuesday, is aimed at drawing attention to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria, and the impact on people who are still in the country and those who have fled to other countries, including Lebanon.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    by: Muhat Kurdi from: Turkey
    August 13, 2012 3:17 PM
    the Syrian MiG-23 jet that was shot down by the Free Syrian Army In Deir Ezzor, was in fact shot down by Turkey anti aircraft batteries. we have Video posted online showing what really happened... this is a real escalation of hostilities between Syria and Turkey - or more accurately between Saudi Arabia and Iran

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 13, 2012 2:40 PM
    It's not about downing of aircraft while people are dieing on the ground. What really do these Syrian rebels want? What agenda are they pursuing and why is the US seeking support for them? Has anyone contacted the opposition Free Syrian Movement? Has anyone interviewed them to understand whether their cause is worth supporting or not? Or are we told to back a regime that will grow up to become another Egypt, Iran, Turkey or any other of the extremist colonies where all we get is terrorism and a drawback to civilization? If the government to emerge from this movement will continue from where the previous regime stopped, then what is the waste of effort for? What are its foreign policy and relations with neighbors going to look like? It's time we understand what we are supporting before we bring a lion cub home for a pet.

    by: Michael from: USA
    August 13, 2012 9:29 AM
    The United Nations is showing it's mandate to assist indigenous peoples by providing aid to Syria. Money is a problem in Lebanon as it's banks are in a recovery phase from it's own civil war

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    August 13, 2012 7:27 AM
    I hope her visit to Syria and Lebanon would encourage refugees fled the civilian war in Syria.

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