Rebels attack Syrian warplane east of Damascus

Rebels attack Syrian warplane east of Damascus

Western-backed rebel group in Syria on Tuesday said it fired anti-aircraft machine guns at a Syrian military jet and damaged the plane, about 80 km from eastern Damascus.

Last month, the group hit another Syrian military jet and caused it to crash.

“It was not clear if the plane hit on Tuesday had crashed.

“Our men targeted the plane, they saw smoke coming out of it and it withdrew backwards toward the regime’s areas,” Saad al-Haj, spokesman for Jaish Osoud al-Sharqiya rebel group said.

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian military.

However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitoring group, said the plane was damaged and was forced to come down in the al-Sin military air base in rural Damascus

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The group added that the plane did not crash.

Ousoud al-Sharqiya is one of the main rebel groups operating in the sparsely populated, southeast Syrian desert known as the Badia, which stretches to the Iraqi and Jordanian borders.

“A day earlier, Syrian troops and Iranian-backed militias launched an assault on Bedouin villages in the southeast to consolidate control of a swathe of desert stretching to the Iraqi border,’’ Western-backed rebels said.

Tuesday’s flare-up in the Badia was near the area where a U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefire came into effect this week in the southwest of Syria. (dpa/NAN)

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