- Associated Press - Monday, August 13, 2012

BEIRUT — A video issued by Syrian rebels purports to show a captured pilot who ejected from a warplane they claim they downed.

The authenticity of the video shown on the pan-Arab network Al-Arabiya could not be independently confirmed. But it comes amid conflicting accounts over the MiG fighter.

Rebels claim they shot down the plane over eastern Syria. The Syrian government says a warplane experienced malfunctions and the pilot was forced to eject.

If the rebel claim proves true, it could mark a significant jump in their ability to combat widening air attacks from President Bashar Assad’s forces.

In the video, a man identifies himself as the pilot as he is surrounded by three armed men. He says he has been treated well and urges officers to defect from Assad’s military.

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