Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rebels forcing Syrian jets to bomb from high altitude - France

"(Reuters) - Syrian rebels have acquired heavy weapons that have forced the government's air force to bomb rebel-held zones indiscriminately from high altitude, France's foreign minister said before meeting rebel groups on Wednesday.
Laurent Fabius, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's harshest critics, made his comments ahead of a closed door conference in Paris with civilian members of rebel councils that run areas seized from central government control.
They included representatives from Maarat al-Numan, a town whose seizure last week cut the main route from Damascus to Aleppo.

"In a certain number of these zones, Bashar al-Assad is bombarding them with MiG fighter jets, and what is particularly horrible is that he is bombarding them with TNT," Fabius said.
"But at the same time there are now weapons that are forcing the planes to fly extremely high, and so the strikes are less accurate," he told reporters.
Amateur footage of rebels using shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles have emerged in recent days. On Wednesday, activists posted videos of what they said was a Syrian military helicopter spiralling to the ground and exploding in flames [See Post Below].
Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that the helicopter had been downed near Maarat al-Numan. "Some rebels say they used anti-aircraft missiles," he told Reuters by phone from Britain......."

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