BEIRUT - Syrian fighters destroyed a Russian helicopter with a missile, shortly after they forced it to make an emergency landing in a nearby government-held area in Syria's Latakia province on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A Syrian insurgent group, recipient of US Tow missiles, said its fighters hit the helicopter with an anti-tank missile while it was in the air and put out a video showing the helicopter being blown up after one of its fighters struck it with another missile.
Rami Abdulrahman from the Observatory, which tracks the conflict in Syria though a wide network of sources, said at least ten people were on the helicopter when it was hit by the insurgents but they were all evacuated when it landed and before the missile destroyed it.
The Russian defense ministry did not answer calls from Reuters seeking comment on the reports about the helicopter.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the plane had been attacked when it was 1 km (0.62 mile) inside Syria and warned of "serious consequences" for what he termed a "stab in the back." Russian and Turkish shares fell on fears of an escalation between the former Cold War enemies.
Each country summoned a diplomatic representative of the other and NATO called a meeting of its ambassadors for Tuesday afternoon.
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