Syrian rebels claim they’ve shot down first Assad fighter jet

Free Syrian Army say it captured pilot

Ilan Ben Zion is an AFP reporter and a former news editor at The Times of Israel.

A video uploaded to YouTube on Monday by a Syrian opposition group appeared to show a Syrian Air Force MiG fighter jet being shot down by rebel forces near the eastern city of Deir el-Zour.

The Local Coordination Committees in Syria reported Monday morning that Free Syrian Army forces downed one of President Bashar Assad’s MiG-23s over the neighborhood of al-Muhassan.

Syrian state run media blamed the crash on a technical problem.

According to an Israel Radio report and Syrian opposition sources, the Free Syrian Army captured the downed pilot.

It is not clear from the footage how the plane was shot down, but NBC reported earlier in August that rebels had smuggled anti-aircraft missiles into Syria from Turkey.

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If confirmed, the incident would be the first in which a Syrian Air Force jet was shot down by rebel forces.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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