National Security Brief: Syria Rebels Down Fighter Jet

– Syrian rebels claimed to shoot down a goverment fighter jet in eastern Syria, capturing the pilot. Rebels released videos of a jet flying before erupting in flames and an interview with the purported pilot.

– Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who became Egypt’s top military officer yesterday, “has shown himself to be eager to work with the United States,” a U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal, downplaying fears about what the power shake-up by Egypt’s president means for the U.S.

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– Amid the toughest-yet international sanctions, the Iranian government likes to project self-reliance. But it reversed course yesterday when it came to victims of the massive earthquakes that struck in the northwest of the country: With more than 300 dead and reportedly more than 50,000 displaced, the government welcomed help from abroad.

– Taiwan downgraded its request for American-made fighter jets from 66 new planes to 24, reportedly because of budget constraints. Taiwan’s requests have become a political football in Washington. with China hawks in Congress press for Taiwan to get the most advanced fighters.