BEIRUT — Rebel fighters said Monday that they shot down a MiG-23 jet in eastern Syria and captured the pilot, a claim disputed by the Syrian government, which blamed a “technical failure” for the crash.
If the rebel assertion is verified, the action would represent a significant improvement in the military skills demonstrated by the ragtag fighters and could be a sign they are receiving more sophisticated weapons from their international sponsors, which now include Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The Washington Post
This is a good development but the United States and Turkey setting up no fly zones would be a better solution. First the sophisticated anti-aircraft weaponry of the Assad regime would have to be taken out however. If the anti aircraft weaponry was not first destroyed it could lead to many of our Air Force being shot down. We must also be in close and constant communication with the rebels in such an operation to make sure neither the United States, Turkey, or the rebels inadvertently attacks each other and that civilians are not around during attacks. Even with these improvements the rebels are still using significantly less sophisticated weaponry and have much less then the Assad regime. It is wishful thinking, thinking that the rebels could be able to take on Assad's entire air force by themselves. All this though is another sign things are moving forward in the cause of a Free Syria. A.C.M.