Syrian rebels claim to shoot down fighter jet

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The Syrian state-run media organization Sana, however, said that the crash happened after the plane had problems with its "control mechanisms," according to the BBC.

If the rebels did shoot down the fighter, it would deal a blow to Assad’s forces who have used airpower to bombard the opposition in Aleppo with attack helicopters and fighter jets.

The Obama administration last week said it would not rule out establishing a no-fly zone in Syria as the air assault intensified, while reports surfaced that rebels had obtained anti-aircraft weapons.

Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters Monday that Assad’s use of airpower “needs to stop,” though he declined to comment specifically on a no-fly zone.

“There has been a very troubling and despicable uptick" in Syrian forces using airpower against rebels, Little said.

Little could not confirm the whether the Syrian fighter had been shot down.