Missile downs Syria chopper for first time
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
French President Hollande (2nd R) greets Russian PM Medvedev in Paris. The Syrian crisis was expected to be on the top of the agenda.Syrian rebels downed an army helicopter with a ground-to-air missile for the first time yesterday as it was on a strafing run around a besieged base in the northwest, a human rights watchdog said.
“It is the first time that the rebels have shot down a helicopter with a surface-to-air missile,” Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France-Presse. The downing came at the strategic Sheikh Suleiman base, 25 kilometers west of Aleppo, the last garrison in government hands between Syria’s second city and the Turkish border. Meanwhile, Syrian war planes attacked towns in the country’s north and east and killed at least five civilians in a strike on an olive oil press as fighting raged in the capital Damascus.
Rebels have captured at least five army and air force installations in the past 10 days, putting pressure on al-Assad’s forces in Aleppo and Idlib and the eastern oil region of Deir ez-Zor.