Conflict & Justice

Syria: Helicopter Crashes in Damascus


Screen grab of a YouTube video showing a helicopter shot down in Demascus. (Photo: BBC)

Armed rebels in Syria say they have shot down a military helicopter over the capital, Damascus.

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The Free Syrian Army said the aircraft had been firing at people in the north-eastern district of Jobar, and that it had crashed in neighboring Qabun.

State television confirmed that a helicopter had come down in Qabun.

Activists said regime forces killed at least 37 people in the suburbs of Damascus through army shelling and helicopter attacks.

There has been an outcry over allegations that government forces killed more than 300 people during an assault on the south-western suburb of Darayya.

Unverified video footage and photographs have emerged over the weekend showing scores of bodies, including those of women and children.

State media blamed the opposition for the killings and said Darayya had been "cleansed of terrorist remnants".

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was shocked by reports of "an appalling and brutal crime".

He called for an independent inquiry into the allegations.

Meanwhile French President Hollande has urged Syrian opposition groups to form a provisional government.

He told a meeting of French ambassadors that France would recognize the government as "the legitimate representative of the new Syria".

Host Marco Werman talks to journalist Thabet Salem who is there.