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Syrian military helicopter shot down


Unconfirmed video is believed to show Syrian rebels shooting down a Syrian government helicopter. An ITN narrator cites 'heavy artillery fire,' though there is evidence that Syrian insurgents have otherwise obtained and deployed guided missiles from Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), as reported by CJ Chivers at The New York Times:

Throughout this year, as fighting intensified in Syria and antigovernment fighters grew in numbers and in strength, it had seemed inevitable that they would acquire heat-seeking shoulder-fired missiles and turn them against the Syrian military aircraft.

This blog had documented the part-by-part appearance in rebel hands of one old heat-seeking system, known as the SA-7. Since midsummer there have been occasional sightings of full systems but none, as far as we know, showing the system in actual use.

Two videos recently posted on YouTube suggest that what had been expected is now occurring.

Video of rebels aiming, but not firing a MANPADS:


Video of rebels firing a guided missile at a jet (note, the video is poor quality, but the firing of the system can be heard at 2:03 and a corkscrew trail of the missile is seen at 2:34):

Chivers offers additional context in this NYT post.



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