A Syrian army helicopter crashed Monday in Damascus as rebels claimed to shot it down. The official Syrian television said that a helicopter had crashed near a mosque in the neighborhood of Qaboun in the east of Damascus.
Omar al-Qabouni, spokesman for the rebel Badr Brigade, said his men had shot down the aircraft. “It was a revenge after the massacre of Daraya,” he said via Skype. A video posted by activists shows the helicopter catches fire and falls steeply near homes.
According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR), violent fighting between the army and rebels continued in several areas of northeast Damascus, in particular Jobar.
At least 20 people were killed in violence on Monday, according to a provisional statement by the Syrian NGO, who said Sunday’s death toll stood at 149 dead.
Eight civilians, including three children and two women, were killed in a bombing in Kafar Batna in the province of Damascus, while four rebels and six soldiers were killed in the fighting in Jobar. A couple also died in a military assault on al-Qal Madiq in the province of Hama, added SOHR.
Intense bombardment also targeted, according to the SOHR, districts of Aleppo where the rebels are entrenched and engaged for more than a month in a crucial battle with the regime forces.
At Daraya, 7 km south of Damascus, the SOHR reported that 14 new bodies were found, following the announcement by the rebels of the discovery of at least 320 bodies after an army offensive that lasted five days. The regime, for its part ,claimed to have cleared Daraya from “terrorist mercenaries” who had committed “crimes against the locals.”