Syrian rebels posted amateur video on Wednesday of what they say is a Syrian military helicopter being shot, plunging downward and then massively exploding in mid-air. This was followed by celebratory shouts of “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest) by those surrounding the videographer.
TheBlaze is unable to verify the authenticity of the video (seen below) which has also been posted by other news outlets. Reuters reports the chopper was shot down near Maarat al-Numan. Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, tells the news agency that rebels have been reporting the use of anti-aircraft missiles.
Reuters reports this development has led to a change in the government forces’ modus operandi:
Amateur footage of rebels using shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles have emerged in the past few days, and France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that heavy weapons acquired by the insurgents have forced Assad’s air force to bomb rebel-held areas from high altitude.
“In a certain number of these zones, Bashar al-Assad is bombarding them with MiG fighter jets, and what is particularly horrible is that he is bombarding them with TNT,” Fabius said.
“But at the same time there are now weapons that are forcing the planes to fly extremely high, and so the strikes are less accurate,” he said before meeting civilian members of rebel councils that run areas outside government control.
UN mediator on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, warned Wednesday of the danger that the Syrian conflict could spill over to its neighbors’ territories. He’s calling for a temporary ceasefire to coincide with the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha which starts next week. He said: “Either it is solved, or it gets worse … and sets (the region) ablaze. A truce for Eid al-Adha would be a microscopic step on the road to solving the Syria crisis.”
“This will not be a happy holiday for the Syrians, but we should at least strive to make it less sad,” he added.
Here is the video of the helicopter shoot-down: