Rebels execute captured Syrian pilot

Damascus, July 1 (IANS) Rebels Jaish al-Islam executed a Syrian pilot whose warplane crashed east of the capital Damascus on Friday, according to the rebel group.

Jaish al-Islam captured the pilot after his war jet crashed earlier on Friday over the town of Jairud in the Qalamoun region east of Damascus, Xinhua news agency reported.

At first, the group posted online photos showing the young pilot alive in captivity.

Hours later, the radical group posted a photo showing the pilot laid face down, with blood trickling out of his mouth, while the back of his head was blurred in the photo. However, it appeared that he was shot in the back of head.

The General Command of the Syrian Army said the warplane crashed over a rebel-held area as a result of a malfunction. The pilot ejected safely, but was captured by rebels.

It confirmed the death of its pilot by the hand of Jaish al-Islam rebels.

“This heinous crime will not pass without a tough retaliation, as the army will continue to strike the terrorist positions across the country,” said the military statement.

–IANS

lok/vt

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