UK & World News
Syria Rebels 'Shoot Plane And Hold Pilot'
Syrian rebels say they have shot down a warplane in the east of the country - although Syrian state TV insisted that a pilot ejected from the jet after a technical failure.
A video distributed online by a group calling itself the Revolutionary Youth of the Land of the Euphrates shows a man they identify as pilot Mohammed Suleiman, surrounded by three armed men.
In the video, which cannot be verified, the man says "my mission was to bomb the town of Muhasen [in Deir Ezzor]".
"The wounds on my face were caused by the strong wind that forced me on to stones after I ejected from my plane," he adds.
The plane, reportedly a Russian-made MiG, which are used by the Syrian air force, came down in rebel-controlled Deir Ezzor province.
"Yes, we can confirm that a MiG 21 has been downed," said Free Syrian Army spokesman Kassem Saadeddine. "It was hit with a 14.5 calibre anti-aircraft machinegun."
David Bowden, Sky News' Senior Correspondent, who is on the Syrian border, said "The real game changer in this civil war is the airpower the regime has at its disposal.
"If the rebels have managed to shoot down a jet this is a huge propaganda coup."
Speaking about the alleged captured pilot, Bowden added: "We've got no idea if this man is the pilot or just an FSA member who's been wheeled on.
"But you get an idea of the propaganda war that's going on in parallel with the real war in Syria."
Theodore Karasik, a regional security expert at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said the rebel claim - if true - would suggest a stepped-up flow of outside military assistance.
It would be a significant jump in their ability to combat widening air attacks from President Bashar Assad's forces.
Older anti-aircraft weapons, possibly looted from Syrian arsenals such as variations on the Soviet-era SA-7, are not considered capable of easily bringing down later model MiGs in the Syrian air force.
what do you think?
Can we also have some reporting on the "rebels" throwing Syrian postal workers off the roof of a high rise building? Just google Syrian post office massacre and watch the footage of what William Hague's friends are doing to civilians, warning! it is horrific.
Agree 100%. God knows what the pilots fate will be.
Robin Van Der Spiegel
I don't always agree with your posts john but you're spot on here, assuming the footage is as claimed. Its starting to look more and more like assad may have had a point after all.
I don't think you can dispute the footage. Who ever they are there not getting much of a fair trial. But we will never know as there is a total blackout with our media.
OBAMA & CAMERON fight terrorists in Syria, Ho! sorry OBAMA & CAMERON aiding terrorists in Syria will there be another countries leader assassinated so that slimy Mrs Clinton can dance around with joy.