Second Syrian government helicopter is shot down over IdlibFebruary 14, 2020
Second Syrian government helicopter is shot down over Idlib in four days
- Syrian National Coalition shared footage of a burning helicopter crashing today
- The rebels claimed that the Assad regime’s helicopter had been bombing homes
- Rebels shot down another helicopter on Tuesday, killing its two crew members
A Syrian government helicopter has been shot down in Idlib for the second time in four days, opposition forces said today.
The Syrian National Coalition shared footage of a burning helicopter crashing to the ground as they announced the aircraft had been shot down.
The rebels claimed that the Assad regime’s helicopter had been bombing civilian homes.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the shoot-down and said the two crew members on board had been killed.
The Observatory alleged that the helicopter was shot down by rebel-backing Turkish forces but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
This footage was published by Syria’s opposition forces today as they announced that they had shot down a helicopter belonging to the Assad regime
The war monitor said the helicopter had crashed in the countryside in north-west Syria, where Assad’s forces have been staging a weeks-long offensive against the rebels.
A report by the state-owned Anadolu agency in Turkey said the helicopter was flying over Aleppo province when it was hit.
The footage published by the Syrian National Coalition showed it coming down some way behind a building at the side of a road.
A second government plane returned to a runway at Hamah Military Airport after hearing what had happened to the helicopter, the Turkish report claims.
On Tuesday, rebels shot down a separate helicopter in the same region, killing the two crew members on board in a fiery crash.
Syrian troops have been on the offensive for weeks in Idlib province, which is the last stronghold of the anti-Assad rebels.
Assad’s forces are now securing areas along a key highway they seized from jihadists and allied rebels this week.
On Friday, they pushed west of the M5 motorway which connects Syria’s four largest cities and is economically vital for the government.
The burning helicopter falls from the sky in footage published by the Syrian rebels today
The footage published by the Syrian National Coalition showed it coming down some way behind a building at the side of a road
In an attempt to consolidate a ‘security belt’ around the road, they seized a key base on Friday that they had lost to rebels in 2012, the Observatory said.
The Russian-backed offensive has triggered the largest wave of displacement in the nine-year conflict, with 800,000 people fleeing since December, according to the United Nations.
Tuesday’s attack came a day after five Turkish soldiers were killed in a government attack – prompting Ankara to retaliate with strikes on 115 government positions.
Turkey has allied with some of the rebels and has boosted its own military presence in the region.
Russia, which supports Assad, has accused Turkey of flouting agreements it made with Moscow.
A second Syrian government helicopter has been shot down in four days (the first of the two, on Tuesday, is pictured)
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