Syrian rebels destroy helicopter in Hama offensive

September 2, 2016 20:27

BEIRUT - Syrian rebels destroyed a helicopter with a TOW missile on Friday, rebels and a monitor said, in Hama province where they have launched a major assault in an area of strategic importance to President Bashar Assad.

Rebel group Jaish al-Azza, part of the Free Syrian Army alliance, said in a statement it had "destroyed a Russian helicopter" near the village of Rahbat al-Khattab, about 5 km (3 miles) northwest of the outskirts of government-controlled Hama city.

Jaish al-Azza published a video online showing a helicopter bursting into flames and thick black smoke shortly after landing. It also showed rebels launching a TOW missile.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors Syria's five-year-old conflict, said a helicopter, believed to be Russian, was hit by a rocket as it landed. It said the fate of the crew was not known.

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