Militants fighting against the Syrian government have fired at a civilian plane as it was preparing to take off from Aleppo airport. A militant commander told Reuters on Friday that snipers from his brigade had hit the wheels of Syrian Airways flight RB201 a day before. The commander, who gave his name only as Khaldoun, said the attack was a message to the government that all planes, either military or civilian, are within the militants’ reach. It was the first direct attack on a civilian flight since fighting escalated between foreign-backed militants and government forces a few months ago.
Meanwhile, Palestinians are returning to their homes in Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus after government forces managed to clear the camp of militants.Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil. A recent UN report has revealed that militants from 29 countries have so far filtered into Syria to fight against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, most of whom are extremist Salafists. The Syrian government has repeatedly said that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that a very large number of the militants operating in the country are foreign nationals. HM/JR