A burning military helicopter belonging to Syrian government forces crashes after being shot in the rebel-held Idlib province, February 11. (Anas Alkharboutli/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Gov’t Helicopter Downed in Northwest Syria, Killing 2 Pilots

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have shot down a Syrian government military helicopter in the Idlib region, killing two pilots, Turkish and Syrian state media reported on Friday. The helicopter was reportedly hit by a surface-to-air missile fired from a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS). “One of our military helicopters was hit by an enemy missile in the western countryside of Aleppo … where armed terrorist organizations supported by Turkey are deployed, and this led to the fall of the helicopter and death of its crew,” the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported a military source as saying. This was the second Syrian government helicopter to be shot down by rebels in under a week. Turkey’s military has reinforced its troops and resupplied rebels in Idlib to counter a Russian-backed Syrian government military campaign to retake the last rebel stronghold in the country.

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