Syria rebels shoot down regime helicopter: monitor
Rebels shot down a Syrian regime helicopter on Friday in a southwestern region near the borders with Israel and Lebanon, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.
"Rebel groups shot down a regime helicopter with a guided missile near the border with Lebanon and the occupied Golan," the Britain-based monitoring group's chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The size of the crew and its fate remained unclear, he said.
The area where the helicopter went down is an enclave controlled by Islamist rebel and jihadist groups and surrounded by regime forces.
Abdel Rahman said the fighting has increased there since October.
The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.
The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.