Rebels strike Syrian warplane east of Damascus

BEIRUT - A Western-backed rebel group in Syria and a monitor of the conflict there said rebels fired anti-aircraft machine guns at a Syrian military jet on Tuesday, damaging the plane, about 80 km (50 miles) east of Damascus.
Western-backed rebels had also hit another Syrian military jet last month, causing it to crash.
It was not clear if the plane hit on Tuesday had crashed, said Saad al-Haj, spokesman for Jaish Osoud al-Sharqiya rebel group. "The men targeted the plane, they saw smoke coming out of it," he said. "It withdrew backwards towards the regime's areas."
There was no immediate comment from the Syrian military.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitoring group, said that the plane was damaged and was forced to come down in the al-Sin military air base in rural Damascus, but that it did not crash.
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