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Syrian rebel group claims responsibility for downing of regime jet

Syrian rebel group Ahrar ash-Sham has claimed responsibility for the downing of a Syrian regime jet southeast of Aleppo which resulted in the capture of its pilot Brigadier Khaled Saeid.

The group, which fights alongside al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al-Nusra, said its members shot down the plane during the bombardment of areas under its control.

Pro-regime news agency SANA said on Monday that a Sukhoi-22 fighter jet was downed near Aleppo and that work is underway to rescue its pilot, who is believed to be the commander of Squadron 677 Brigade 50 in the Syrian army.

Jabhat Al-Nusra has aired a video recording of the captive pilot during which he says he holds the rank of brigadier pilot and comes from the coastal province of Latakia.

The pilot said he had carried out two attacks before his plane was downed while trying to carry out a third attack.

According to Syrian opposition sites, the same pilot lost control of his plane in al-Qalamon in August 2014 but was able to land in areas under regime control.

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