Syrian rebels shoot down regime helicopter near Israel border
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Syrian rebels shoot down regime helicopter near Israel border

Monitoring group says 2 soldiers from Syria's army killed by guided missile fired at chopper in southwest of country

Illustrative: A Syrian military helicopter flys over the outskirts of the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, September 10, 2017. (AFP/George Ourfalian)
Illustrative: A Syrian military helicopter flys over the outskirts of the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, September 10, 2017. (AFP/George Ourfalian)

BEIRUT — Rebels shot down a Syrian regime helicopter Friday in a southwestern region near the borders with Israel and Lebanon, killing its two crew members, a monitoring group said.

“Rebel groups shot down a regime helicopter with a guided missile near the border with Lebanon and the (Israeli-) occupied Golan,” said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdel Rahman.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and later extended Israeli law to the area in a move never recognized by the international community.

Abdel Rahman told AFP that both officers on board were killed.

The area where the helicopter was taken down is an enclave controlled by Islamist rebel and jihadist groups but surrounded by regime forces.

Abdel Rahman said the fighting has increased there since October.

More than 340,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, which began in 2011 as the regime brutally crushed anti-government protests. Millions have been displaced.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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