Al-Nusra capture Syrian fighter pilot
Islamist rebels downed a Syrian fighter jet and captured its pilot Tuesday south of Aleppo where insurgents are fighting the Syrian army and allied militias.
The pilot was seen on amateur video surrounded by an angry mob after he ejected from the warplane, which was shot down by a surface-to-air missile during a reconnaissance mission.
“Shame on you, you filthy pig!” some of the fighters said as they surrounded the battered and bruised pilot. A fighter also could be heard shouting: “Take away his gun!”
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the pilot was captured by members of the Nusra Front — al-Qaida’s branch in Syria. Efforts were launched to recover him.
Opposition activists said the Sukhoi 22 plane was hit near the village of al-Ais that was captured Saturday by insurgents spearheaded by the group’s members.
WARNING: Video contains graphic content
The plane fell in the Talat al-Iss highland, where the rebels have come under heavy bombardment by Syrian and Russian planes since they captured the area this week, Reuters reported.
The insurgents then shelled a predominantly Kurdish neighborhood in Aleppo, killing at least nine people, opposition monitoring groups and state media said.
In Moscow, Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said no Russian warplanes flew over Aleppo on Tuesday.
Syrian rebels have shot down several Syrian warplanes since the country’s crisis began in March 2011.
Russian jets have been carrying out airstrikes in Syria since Sept. 30. Syrian militants have not downed any Russian planes.
The shoot-down and shelling in Aleppo threaten to undermine a US-Russia-brokered cease-fire that has largely held since Feb. 27.
Aerial supremacy has been a major advantage for the Syrian army that has been battling insurgents seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
With Post Wires
Source: By Yaron Steinbuch - NEW YORK POST (nypost.com ) - April 5, 2016
Photo: The wreckage of the Syrian warplane that was shot down south of Aleppo, Syria. (Photo by Reuters and Social Media)
A video circulating on social media shows the burning wreckage of an aircraft, which rebels claim to be a Syrian government warplane they shot down. By REUTERS on Publish Date April 5, 2016. (Photo by Ammar Abdullah/Reuters.)