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Syrian rebels claim shooting down of warplane

Syrian rebels claim shooting down of warplane
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Syrian rebels claim to have shot down a government fighter jet in the north of the country. Opposition fighters in northern Idlib province said they brought it down with heavy machine-gun fire as it was taking off.

State media reported the plane crashed due to technical problems. The rebels have been trying to curb the military’s increasing use of air power.

Meanwhile, The Arab League has been debating the Syrian conflict at a meeting in Cairo. Participants heard an impassioned plea from Egypt’s President for Arab states to work for an end to the bloodshed. Mohamed Mursi, making his first address to the Arab League, said it was time to change the Syrian government.

With diplomacy offering little hope of a solution, violence has intensified in recent weeks. A reported air-strike on a rebel-held area of Aleppo, the country’s second city, was said to have killed several people, destroyed a number of buildings and caused an extensive fire.