BEIRUT Dec 24 Syrian activists said rebels in
central Hama province shot down a government fighter jet on
Monday, in clashes outside a village loyal to President Bashar
Rebels began a push into Hama last week, declaring it a new
front in their 21-month-old revolt against Assad. The largely
Sunni Muslim rebels have now brought the fight to several
minority Christian and Alawite towns, where Assad forces are
located and where many residents are loyal to the government.
Activist Sami al-Hamawi said rebels used anti-aircraft
machineguns to bring down the plane outside the Alawite village
of Maan, which rebels have been trying to lay siege to for
several days. He said the plane was flying low over an area
rebels had seized.
It was not possible to independently verify the report.