June 11, 2015 / 10:27 AM / in 5 years

Rebels say they shoot down Syrian military jet in south

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian rebels said they had shot down a military jet on Thursday in southern Syria, where insurgents fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad seized a major army base earlier this week.

Bashar al-Zoubi, leader of the Yarmouk Army rebel group, told Reuters his fighters had shot down the Russian-built MiG using anti-aircraft guns.

A video posted online by the opposition affiliated Syrian Media Organisation appeared to show a jet falling from the sky.

Syrian officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

An insurgent alliance including rebels backed by Assad’s Arab enemies captured the military base “Liwa 52” on Tuesday. The Syrian military has not commented on the loss of the base.

It has compounded losses for Assad since March in the south, the east and the northwest where he has lost territory to an array of insurgent groups including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and Islamic State.

Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Dominic Evans

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