Syrian rebels last night paraded what they claimed was the captured pilot of a government jet fighter. The unverified video footage posted on a social media website was distributed by a group called the Revolutionary Youth of the Land of the Euphrates.
Off camera a Syrian rebel asks the man a number of questions –‘who are you? To which he replies his name ‘Colonel Suleiman’,-‘what were you tasked with doing’? He replied ‘bomb Muhasen’ in Deir Ezzor, -What would you say to members of Assad’s army? He replies ‘defect’. Next he was asked ‘how did you get bruises on your face’? He replies ‘falling from plane’ and lastly ‘how were you treated by Syrian rebels? ’he replied ‘ they treated me and gave me first aid ’.
and this footage shows the MIG-23 being attacked on Deir Ez Zour - Anti-aircraft fire can be heard before the jet bursts into flames. Rebel gunners are then heard on the footage celebrating. It is not clear from the footage how the plane was shot down. BBC sources reported earlier in August that rebels had smuggled anti-aircraft missiles into Syria from Turkey. In response Syrian state run media blamed the crash on a technical problem.
It is unknown if this is the actual pilot of the plane, or even a Syrian rebel passing as a pilot. But he certainly doesn’t appear to fit the pilots profile as a late middle aged man. This follows the latest posting of three unconfirmed videos online today. Which show apparent atrocities in Aleppo and include footage of postal workers’ bodies being thrown from a roof, and a bound man being repeatedly shot.
Written and presented by Ann Salter