Syria: an army helicopter shot down, and Damascus is making headway in the north-west

Syrie: un hélicoptère de l’armée abattu, Damas progresse dans le nord-ouest

DAMASCUS | A helicopter of the syrian army was shot and killed Friday in the north-west of Syria, and its crew killed, the second crash of its kind this week on the backdrop of tensions between Ankara and Damascus, which continues its progression in the face of the jihadists and rebels, making new dead.

The power of Bashar al-Assad, supported by its ally the Russian, took it over in December its offensive in the North-west syrian against the large ultimate bastion of the jihadists and rebels, despite warnings from neighboring turkey.



Friday, according to the Observatory syrian Human rights (OSDH), eight civilians, including three children, were killed in the shelling, five of them in raids of the Russian federation in the village of Maarata, near the town of Atareb, in the province of Aleppo.

Continuing their progress on the ground – the regime now controls nearly half of the province of Idleb, the forces of Damascus had won Friday, a new victory with the recapture of a military base lost there are more than seven years, in the west of the province of Aleppo.

But Turkey and its auxiliaries, the syrians deployed in the north-west, are trying to impede this progress.

An army helicopter was hit Friday by an enemy missile near Orum al-Kobra”, sector, “where are deployed the armed terrorist groups supported by Turkey,” according to a military source cited by the agency official syrian Sana.



“This has led to the fall of the helicopter and the death of his crew,” said the military source, without giving specific assessment.

The OSDH has made him a state of two pilots killed, and attributed the crash to a missile of the Turkish forces.

The Turkish authorities have not commented on in the immediate future, while the Turkish agency Anadolu has mentioned the crash without more details.

Ankara, which supports rebel groups, maintains troops in the North-west of syria and has sent reinforcements these last days, to impede the advance of government forces.

On Tuesday, a helicopter of the syrian army had been shot by a firing also charged by the OSDH Turkish forces in the province of Idleb, similar to that of Aleppo.

The Turkish media had attributed the crash to the rebel groups the syrian pro-Ankara.

Military Base to be conquered

Illustrating the tensions between Damascus and Ankara, clashes of violence unprecedented have opposed the beginning of February the Turkish soldiers for the syrian forces in the north-west.



Damascus hammered her intention to return to the entire province of Idleb, his last great strategic battle at a time when the power control more than 70% of the country.

The jihadists of Hayat al-Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), ex-branch of the syrian Al-Qaeda) dominate more than half of the province of Idleb as well as areas adjoining those of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia.

Rebel groups and other factions jihadists less influential are also present in these areas.

Continuing their progression on Friday, regime forces have taken over the base 46, located 12 kilometres to the west of the city of Aleppo, after “a violent struggle” against jihadists and rebels, according to OSDH.



The Turkish forces withdrew Thursday from this basis, according to the same source.

Before falling in November 2012 at the hands of the rebels, it was one of the last strongholds of the regime in the north-west. The AFP had seen of the insurgents settle there, after heavy fighting, during which some 150 soldiers had been killed or executed.

More than 800 000 displaced

Now, the progression of prorégime the objective of establishing a ‘belt of security” around a highway linking Aleppo to the capital Damascus – recovery in its entirety by the power this week, according to the OSDH.

In view of this, the regime forces “have to conquer the villages of Orum al-Kobra and Kafr Naha, in the province of Aleppo to the west of the highway, according to the NGO. They are located within 2 km of Orum al-Kobra.

The forces of Damascus are also less than 5 km from the town of Atareb, according to the OSDH. On Thursday, a correspondent of the AFP was able to film this city deserted by its inhabitants after the progression on the ground of prorégime and bombing murderers.

Since December, more than 800 000 people have been displaced by the violence in the north-west, according to the UN. More than 380 civilians have been killed since mid-December, according to the OSDH.

Triggered in march 2011 with the repression of peaceful demonstrations calling for reform, the war in Syria has killed more than 380 000 people dead.