Free Syrian Army shoots down regime aircraft near ceasefire zone

Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) announced yesterday that they downed a warplane that belongs to the Syrian army in the country’s southern province of Sweida.

“Rebel groups shot down on Tuesday a Syrian regime aircraft in Sweida’s north-eastern desert village of Um Ramam,” media sources quoted the FSA’s Lions of the East Army faction.

“We have no information on the pilot,” the sources added, noting that the FSA factions are currently looking for the aircraft’s pilot.

On his part, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor has confirmed that the plane was dropped near a village on the administrative border between the provinces of Rural Damascus and Sweida.

Since last Monday, Sweida has been experiencing fierce fighting between the FSA factions of Ahmad Al-Abdo Forces and the Lions of the East Army on one side, and the Syrian regime army.

With the support of the Iranian forces and Hezbollah, Assad forces managed to control a number of villages in the Syrian desert during the battles, however, the rebel groups were able to recapture some of them. Fighting continued into Tuesday over a series of hilltops and villages in the province.

Sweida is part of a new ceasefire deal negotiated by the United States, Russia, and Jordan that went into effect last Sunday. The deal has brought relative quiet to most of the provinces covered —Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida — though outbreaks of violence have been reported.

Over 320,000 people have been killed since the start of the Syrian conflict in March 2011 between the Assad forces and the Syrian opposition groups.

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