13:12 Sep. 3, 2016
Alleged Russian chopper was destroyed with a TOW missile near government-held Hama city
Syrian rebels destroyed a helicopter with a TOW missile on Friday, rebels and a monitor said, in Hama province where they have launched a major assault in an area of strategic importance to President Bashar al-Assad.
Rebel group Jaish al-Azza, part of the Free Syrian Army alliance, said in a statement it had "destroyed a Russian helicopter" near the village of Rahbat al-Khattab, about 5 km northwest of the outskirts of government-controlled Hama city.
Jaish al-Azza published a video online showing a helicopter bursting into flames and thick black smoke shortly after landing. It also showed rebels launching a TOW missile.
Russian defense officials could not immediately be contacted for comment.
Russia intervened in the Syrian conflict in September last year, to support Assad after insurgents took large swathes of territory in the summer.