Syrian rebels turn looted missiles on Assad’s aircraft

The Guardian reports: Syrian rebels are believed to have used surface-to-air missiles to down two government aircraft in less than 24 hours – the first time such weapons have been used in the 20-month insurrection.

The downing of the aircraft is being hailed as a significant tactical advance in northern Syria, where fierce clashes between Assad regime forces and rebels over the summer have given way to several months of stalemate and rising despair on the opposition side.

A warplane crashed on Wednesday near Darat Azzah outside Aleppo after being shot at from the ground. The wounded pilot was captured. Late on Tuesday, a regime helicopter also crashed. Several videos uploaded to the internet clearly showed a missile hitting it broadside before it plummeted to earth.

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