A Syrian Army helicopter was destroyed by a missile during an operation against anti-government forces near Aleppo, and its crew was killed, Syrian state-run media reported.

Citing a military source, SANA said the chopper was hit by “a hostile missile” on Friday afternoon in the area where Turkish-backed groups operate. The Syrian troops were clearing the militants’ hideouts in the vicinity of Aleppo that day.

Turkish outlet Anadolu said that the helicopter was brought down within the Idlib ‘de-escalation zone’ set up by Russia and Turkey, which borders Syria’s northwestern Aleppo Province.

Footage, circulating online, purports to show the flaming helicopter plummeting to the ground after it was hit by militants.

Other videos, apparently filmed by the militants, show the burning wreckage of the helicopter lying in the field. While not much is left of the chopper, the debris suggests it was a Mi-8/17-type transport helicopter, widely used by the Syrian Army.

This could be the second helicopter brought down by the anti-government militants in Idlib in just three days. On Tuesday, a machine of the same type was downed to the south-east of the city of Idlib. Everyone inside the helicopter were killed. Militants shared videos of desecrating the charred bodies of the Syrian pilots online.

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