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Video: Syrian Rebels Present Pilot of Downed Plane

Syrian rebels release a video of the pilot of a Syrian Air Force plane which had been downed earlier.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/14/2012, 5:40 AM

A man described by Syrian rebels as a captured pilot
A man described by Syrian rebels as a captured pilot
Reuters

Syrian rebels released a video on Monday night of a man they said was the pilot of a Syrian Air Force plane which had been downed earlier using anti-aircraft weapons.

Reuters quoted the rebels as having said the pilot had been captured after ejecting while his stricken aircraft plunged from the sky.

“We will treat this prisoner according to what is required of us by our religion, our morals and the protocols in the Geneva convention related to prisoners of war,” a rebel identified as Captain Abu Laith said in the video.

The pilot was heard saying in the video, “My mission was to bomb the city of Mohassan in Deir ez-Zor. The wounds on my face were caused by a strong wind that hurled me towards the rocks after I ejected from my plane.”

An earlier video published by the rebels showed them shooting down the plane. Reuters reported that other disturbing footage on YouTube appeared to show rebels meting out violent justice.

In one video, said the report, dead bodies are thrown from the rooftop of a post office, while a crowd of shouting men watch. Enraged members of the crowd kick the bodies down stairs and can be heard calling them members of the shabbiha pro-government militia.

In another video, a young man's throat is slit with a knife by captors who accuse him of being a member of the shabbiha while his blood pours on the ground and his last breath rattles. Rebels said the video may have been made by government forces to discredit them.

On Sunday, Abdelbasset Sida, head of the Syrian National Council, said that rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad need the protection of no-fly zones and safe havens patrolled by foreign forces near the borders with Jordan and Turkey.