In Syria Rebels reportedly down regime plane and captured pilot

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A Syrian warplane drops a payload on the rebel-held area of Qabun east of Damascus on May 6, 2017

A Syrian rebel group said it
shot down a government warplane on Tuesday and captured its pilot alive
near a ceasefire zone in the war-ravaged country’s south. The
Ahmad al-Abdo Forces shot down the Syrian government MiG-21 near Wadi
Mahmud in the southern province of Sweida, the group’s communications
head Fares al-Munjed told AFP.

“The pilot is in our hands. He is injured and being treated,” Munjed said.
The
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor, confirmed
the rebel faction had shot down the plane and captured its wounded
pilot.
According to Munjed, the area
where the aircraft was downed is outside a ceasefire zone negotiated
last month by the United States, Russia and Jordan.
Parts
of Daraa, Quneitra, and Sweida provinces are included in the agreement,
which has brought relative quiet to the zone though some violence has
been reported.
Days after the deal went
into effect, the Ahmad al-Abdo Forces hit a Syrian government jet but it
landed safely in regime-controlled territory.
Munjed said his group had used a “23 millimetre anti-aircraft gun” to down the warplane on Tuesday.
“We will take care to treat the captured pilot in accordance with international law,” he told AFP.
The rebel group’s leadership was still debating what would happen to the pilot after his treatment, he said.
More than 330,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.
Multiple attempted ceasefires, including nationwide truces, have failed to bring a long-term end to the war.

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