01/08/2013 - #Syria - Taftanaz - Regime helicopter shot down
#Syria, Media platform Damascus | | Damascus | | 5 \ 12 \ 2012
The secret of air defense battalion Abu Bakr belonging to the Liberation Brigade Sham drop the helicopter above the sky East Gouta on 05/10/2012 at 5:36 pm .. God is great, thank God
A video surfaced Thursday that appears to show a Syrian military helicopter shooting canisters of white phosphorus, a controversial substance that is a considered a chemical weapon by some military analysts.
In the video, a helicopter flying at a very high altitude above the town of Maraiya in Deir al-Zour province is shown firing a shell that explodes into smaller pellets and drops toward the ground leaving behind white smoke trails.
The authenticity of the footage is impossible to verify with the restrictions placed on media personnel by the Syrian government.
The use of white phosphorus against military targets falls into a gray area within the Chemical Weapons Convention. Some observers say the use of white phosphorus for illumination in a military conflict is legal but that using it in a offensive capacity against military targets is illegal.The footage comes at a time when international leaders have expressed great concern about the Syrian government using chemical weapons against its own people. On Monday, President Obama said there would be “consequences” if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was even more explicit and called the use of chemical weapons a “red line.”
White phosphorus can cause severe chemical burns, and the smoke vapors can cause illness or even death. There also is a risk that white phosphorus residue can poison food stocks or water sources and lead to later poisoning.
In the video posted Thursday, the helicopter is clearly operating in the middle of the day, which makes it unlikely that the shells were being used for illumination. The U.S. military was heavily criticized for the use of white phosphorus shells in an offensive capacity during an operation to recapture the Iraqi city of Fallujah from insurgents in 2004.
Posted by Babak Dehghanpisheh on December 6, 2012 at 11:18 am
#Syria Nov 27/12 Moment a helicopter is struck by by a surface-to-air missile west of Aleppo via @cjchivers
#Syria Nov 27/12 Helicopter down, this one clearly struck by a manpad weapon, over Sheik Suleiman base, west of Aleppo. Could be same helicopter shown crashing earlier.
#Syria Nov 21/12 Helicopter in flames, reportedly shot down in East Ghouta - error this is from August 27th, reuploaded - apologies. Thanks to @bjoermen_dk for pointing it put.
Video of a helicopter in flames was posted on YouTube
The Syrian government has indicated that it is interested in exploring a temporary ceasefire proposed by the UN and Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi.
Spokesman Jihad al-Makdisi told the BBC that the government would listen to any initiative to end the crisis, but that both sides would need to be involved.
The opposition meanwhile said they would match any government ceasefire.
Dramatic video, said to have been shot in Syria, has emerged of a helicopter exploding in mid-air.
The authenticity of the footage could not be independently confirmed.
Syrian rebels told al-Jazeera TV that they had downed a Syrian army helicopter in the north-western province of Idlib.
Mr Brahimi wants a truce over the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, which starts on 25 October, to “allow a political process to develop”.
In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday evening, Mr Makdisi said the government in Damascus would listen to any initiative Mr Brahimi might have to “stabilise the situation in Syria and end the crisis, whether on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, independence day or any other anniversary”.
“If we want the initiative to succeed, it is not enough for only the Syrian [government] side to be bound by it,” he said.
“But at the same time, I would say that calming down the situation is in the interest of the Syrian government because we support a political solution and dialogue under this umbrella without preconditions.
“The purpose of [a ceasefire] is not calm itself but transition to a political dialogue between Syrians themselves.”
After holding talks with Lebanese Prime Minster Najib Mikati in Beirut on Wednesday morning, Mr Brahimi called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to take the lead in implementing the ceasefire.
He revealed that the Syrian opposition had told him that any ceasefire observed by government forces would be reciprocated.
“We heard from everyone we met in the opposition, and everyone [else] we met that, if the government stops using violence, ‘We will respond to this directly’,” he said.
“The Syrian people are burying hundreds of people each day, so if they bury fewer people during the days of the holiday, this could be the start of Syria’s return from the dangerous situation that it has slipped and is continuing to slip toward.”
Mr Brahimi also warned neighbouring countries and regional powers who have been supporting the Syrian rebels: “It is not possible that this crisis will stay inside Syrian borders forever.
“Either it has to be taken care of or it will spread and spill over and consume everything. A truce for Eid al-Adha would be a microscopic step on the road to solving the Syria crisis.”
A ceasefire negotiated by his predecessor, Kofi Annan, in April broke down within days and was followed by an escalation in the conflict.
Human rights and opposition activists say more than 30,000 people have been killed since anti-government protests erupted in March 2011.
Turkish soldiers stand near the Turkey-Syria border in Akcakale, Turkey, early Friday.
In Turkey’s southern Hatay province, it is harvest time — the second harvest since the uprising began in neighboring Syria.
In the village of Hacipasa, Turkey, located right along the Syrian border, children play alongside tents on the edge of the farm fields. The tents belong not to Syrian refugees, but to Turkish farmworkers helping to bring in the cotton, tomatoes, peppers and pomegranates waiting to be harvested.
As the autumn morning fog burns off the Syrian hills just across the Orontes River, the sound of gunfire and a Syrian military helicopter signal that another day’s bloodshed is resuming in the embattled Syrian village of Azmarin.
On the Turkish side, three flop-eared goats sit in a field, and a tethered horse and foal nibble at the brush, while across the border the helicopter circles Azmarin before striking.
Residents of Hacipasa line the fields, gesturing to the plume of smoke rising from the Syrian side. This isn’t a spectator sport — many of the families on the Turkish side have relatives in Syria. They wait for the calls from the river announcing more refugees fleeing the violence.
The refugees bring stories of bodies lying in the streets, and no respite from the shells and gunfire. Ahmed Juha, a 34-year-old Syrian, says he won’t stay long in Turkey, despite the horrific scenes in his small village near Azmarin.
“The situation is very bad there,” Juha says. The Syrian army “stormed in and started killing people, not just the [rebels]. They shot 15 people in the mosque, and then the helicopter bombs came.”
An elderly man gestures to a reporter to sit and have tea. He wants to talk about how difficult it’s been here lately, but just then a car pulls up, and the mayor gets out to discuss arrangements for the wedding of the old man’s son.
The mayor doesn’t want to talk about the Turkish government’s Syria policy. But his driver, a 46-year-old man named Latif Fansa, has no such qualms.
“They say [President Bashar] Assad is a dictator, but our prime minister is an even bigger dictator,” Fansa says, referring to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“He’s just following orders from the U.S.,” the driver adds. He says the American policy “is driving Turkey into a sectarian conflict” with various ethnic groups in Syria.
Fansa has relatives from Aleppo, in northern Syria, and he says that one relative who just came from there says there’s nothing left that’s recognizable as the beautiful and historic old city.
“It’s a disgrace for all humankind, not just for Syria or Turkey,” he says. “It is a disgrace that the world allowed that beautiful city to be destroyed. World leaders should fight for peace, but it seems we have no leaders right now.”
Not long after that interview, word came from Aleppo that the historic 13th century Umayyad mosque had been set ablaze.
The complex social mix in Hatay province is also coming into play; most notably, the Turkish Alawite community sympathizes with Syria’s Alawites, led by Assad and his family.
A small but vocal demonstration in Antakya, Turkey, recently denounced the country’s ruling AK Party and Turkey’s ties to the U.S.
Ali Yeral, head of an Alawite cultural foundation in Antakya, says many of the people he talks with have no doubt that the Syrian uprising could be a disaster for Syria’s Alawites, Christians and Shiites.
He says people have seen videos of al-Qaida fighters in Syria, and that one showed a fighter saying, “As soon as we finish Assad, we’ll come back and kill all the Alawites and the other minorities.” It is no wonder people are concerned, he says.
Some opposition groups are working hard to prove such fears unfounded, but as the violence rages on along the border, Turks living here are having a hard time seeing a happy ending to this struggle.
#Syria, Aleppo: compatibility battalion Brigade revolution Aleppine down a helicopter in the area “Anakarin” modern near the cemetery and the pilot parachute jumps before the crash
Rebel fighters shot down a helicopter in a battleground town near Damascus on Thursday, a watchdog said, as Syria’s opposition declared parts of the capital a “disaster area.”
A series of explosions rocked the town of Douma, just northeast of Damascus, shortly before the rebels downed the helicopter, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“A helicopter went down in the Tall al-Kurdi area near Douma,” said the Britain-based Observatory, citing activists in the area. It “was shot down by rebels” following the blasts.
Syrian state television said the helicopter “crashed,” while the official news agency SANA only reported that the aircraft had gone down.
The reports came as the Syrian National Council said that south Damascus was a “disaster area,” while the army shelled al-Hajar al-Aswad and the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmuk.
“Helicopter gunships are pounding civilian homes in al-Hajar al-Aswad in south Damascus, using explosive-laden rockets,” said the SNC, Syria’s main opposition coalition.
“Many people have been killed or injured, but the violence of the shelling is making it difficult for activists in the area to document all their names,” it added.
On Wednesday, the Observatory reported 12 people killed in the two southern districts.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission, a grassroots network of anti-regime activists, had also declared south Damascus a “disaster area” on Wednesday.
“We call on the heroes of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army to intervene and to target the army of (President Bashar) Assad,” said the SNC. “We also call on them to open routes for the civilians to flee the catastrophic conditions they are living in,” it added.
The SNC meanwhile renewed its call on the international community to intervene on behalf of the Syrian people.
“The international and Arab response to what is happening in the world’s oldest capital city (Damascus) has been completely insufficient,” said the opposition bloc.
Violence also raged in Aleppo, Syria’s commercial hub in the north where dozens were killed or injured in fierce shelling by the army, said the Observatory.
The watchdog had no immediate details on the exact number killed in the Aleppo district.
The violence came a day after 125 people were killed across Syria, including 80 civilians, 17 rebels and 28 soldiers, according to the Observatory.
More than 27,000 people have been killed in violence across Syria since March last year, the Observatory says. The UN puts the figure at more than 20,000.