Syrian chopper downed in NW Syria, killing crew
A Syrian military helicopter was shot down over the last major rebel bastion in northwest Syria on Friday, killing its entire crew, state media said, in the second such incident this week.
The attack in a region where Turkish troops and Russian-backed regime forces have engaged in multiple clashes came as Washington said Ankara should look towards its allies in the West in light of such tensions.
“At approximately 13:40 (1140 GMT), one of our military helicopters was hit by a hostile missile in the western countryside of Aleppo,” SANA said.
“This led the helicopter to crash, killing all crew on board.”
SANA said the aircraft was downed near the town of Urum al-Kubra, where Turkey-backed rebels operate, but did not say who was behind the attack.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights pinned it on rebel-backer Turkey, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The Britain-based monitor said two pilots were killed.
An AFP correspondent saw the mangled remains of the chopper and the blood-stained fatigues of one of the pilots.
The incident came just three days after another Syrian military helicopter was downed over Idlib province, killing at least three crew members.
Turkish media blamed the attacks on rebels but the Observatory said Turkish troops had fired rockets at the aircraft over the village of Qaminas, southeast of Idlib city.
Ankara acknowledged the incident in a statement but did not claim responsibility.