Opposition fighters of the Free Syrian army on Thursday claimed to have downed a Syrian fighter jet, Al Arabiya reported. The incident reportedly took place in the Iblib province in the northwest of the country.
A video released by the rebels portrays what appears to be two people parachuting to the ground in the distance as smoke fills part of the frame. Men shout “Allahu akbar” and discharge their weapons.
Two activist groups, The Local Coordination Committees and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the plane was seen crashing near the Abu Zuhour air base. Idlib-based activist Alaa al-Din said rebels shot it down with heavy machine guns.
The government had no immediate comment, and the report couldn’t be independently confirmed. But a brief video clip posted by an Idlib-based rebel group showed the body of a man in an olive-green pilot overall with an apparent head wound. A short distance away lay what appeared to be a white parachute.
The authenticity of the video, dated Aug. 30, could not be independently verified.
On Wednesday, Syrian rebels reportedly captured a government air-base in northern Syria and destroyed 10 Syrian Air Force helicopters.
A video published by Al-Jazeera appeared to show a number of burned-out helicopters that it claimed belonged to Assad forces. Another video uploaded to YouTube by the Free Taftanaz opposition group appeared to show Syrian Free Army forces attacking the Taftanaz airport from a distance.
On Monday, a Syrian military helicopter caught fire and crashed after it was apparently hit during fighting between government forces and rebels in the capital of Damascus, an activist group said.
State-run media confirmed the crash in Damascus but gave no details. A video posted on the Internet showed the chopper engulfed in flames shortly before it hit the ground. The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified.
Ilan Ben Zion contributed to this report.