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Syrian Helicopter Reportedly Downed by Rebels Over Idlib (Awesome Video of Mid-Air Disintegration)
NBC News ^ | October 18, 2012 | Staff

Posted on 10/18/2012 4:32:30 AM PDT by lbryce

A video reportedly shot by an amateur in the Syrian city of Idlib Wednesday shows a crippled Syrian military helicopter spiraling down before it explodes in flames. Syrian rebels say they shot down the helicopter, according to The Telegraph.

The rebels reportedly have acquired heavy weapons in recent weeks, The Telegraph reported, pushing the Syrian air force to attack rebel-held zones from higher altitudes.

Syria's divided rebels have agreed to set up a joint leadership to oversee their battle to overthrow President Bashar Assad, two insurgent sources said Tuesday as fighting raged in cities across the country.

Rebels hope the decision, taken after increasing pressure from foreign supporters on them to unite, will help convince those backers that they are a credible and coordinated fighting force deserving to be supplied with more powerful weapons.

'Extremely dangerous': Assad forces use cluster bombs as rebels gain, rights group says

"The agreement has been reached, they only need to sign it now," one rebel source said. Foreign supporters "are telling us: 'Sort yourselves out and unite, we need a clear and credible side to provide it with quality weapons.'"

He said Qatar and Turkey were the main drivers behind the agreement, which he added might be formally announced this month.

Since the beginning of the revolt against Assad, Western powers have been reluctant to arm the divided rebel factions.

This is the latest attempt to bring together Assad's disparate armed opponents, most of whom have fought nominally under the banner of the rebel Free Syrian Army but who in practice have operated independently, often weakened by deep rivalries.

More weapons in Syria could trigger 'all-out war'

The new leadership will include FSA leaders Riad al-Asaad and Mustafa Sheikh - criticized by many rebels because they are based in Turkey - and recently defected Gen. Mohammad Haj Ali, as well as heads of rebel provincial military councils inside Syria like Qassem Saadeddine, based in Homs province.

The Syrian National Council has set Nov. 4 as the date for an opposition unity conference in Qatar, organizers said.

The 19-month-old revolt against Assad, which started as peaceful demonstrations, has mushroomed into a civil war, pitting the mainly Sunni Muslim rebels against a power structure dominated by the Alawite minority.

Activists say more than 30,000 people have been killed, hundreds of thousands have fled to neighboring countries and more than a million have been displaced inside Syria as entire city districts have been rendered ghost towns by heavy shelling.

The British Observatory for Human Rights said 80 people had been killed in Syria by dusk on Tuesday, after 160 died on Monday. Heavy clashes broke out in the city of Hama, and fighting continued in Aleppo and the northern province of Idlib.

A Reuters correspondent on Lebanon's northeastern border with Syria saw a helicopter dropping explosives on the Syrian side of the frontier. Refugees unloading blankets from a pickup truck in an olive grove on the Lebanese side stopped to watch big black plumes of smoke rising into the sky.

Underlining increasing international concern about the conflict, Pope Benedict will send a group of top cardinals to visit Syria in coming days to express solidarity with its battered population, the Vatican news service said.

Envoy seeks ceasefire U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has called on Shiite Muslim Iran, Assad's closest regional ally, to help arrange a ceasefire in Syria during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha later this month.

Diplomatic sources said Brahimi is also trying to persuade Assad and the rebels to accept a ceasefire and allow U.N. monitors into the country to oversee it.

Brahimi, who took over after Kofi Annan quit in frustration in August, has been traveling around the Middle East trying to nudge regional powers into accepting his plan, which resembles a ceasefire Annan tried in vain to implement, U.N. diplomats said.

But diplomatic sources familiar with Brahimi's proposals said that neither Assad's government nor the fractious opposition had shown interest in halting the conflict.

Major powers at the United Nations remain deadlocked over what to do to defuse Syria's conflict.

Outgunned rebels have struggled to turn the tide of conflict against government forces endowed with tanks, jets and helicopter gunships. But Western powers have been reluctant to arm the insurgents because they perceive no coherent leadership and fear that weapons are ending up in the hands of Islamist militants increasingly evident in the conflict.

Mistrust and miscommunication have dominated relations between rebel brigades and each privately accuse the other of incompetence. Differences over leadership, tactics and sources of funding have also widened rifts between largely autonomous brigades scattered across Syria.

The rebel sources said countries who have supported the revolt but whose own rivalries have exacerbated rebel divisions agreed that it was time the rebels fight side by side.

"There will never be unity inside Syria unless the countries supporting the revolt agree because each group is supported and backed by (one) country," one source said.

"Now the countries are becoming nervous and the Syrian issue has become bigger than they expected and almost out of control."

Rebel leaders believe a common fighting front would enable coordination of multifaceted operations crucial to success against a better armed adversary.

"If a brigade wants to hit a (government) checkpoint, then an intelligence unit would check it out and then raise a report up to the (regional) command. The command will take a decision on the number of men needed for this operation and the kind of weapons plus other issues," another rebel source said.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: midairexplosion; rebels; syria
Bull's eye missile gives Assad a bad day.
1 posted on 10/18/2012 4:32:41 AM PDT by lbryce
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To: lbryce

Fast and Furious: Syrian Edition.


2 posted on 10/18/2012 4:35:56 AM PDT by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: lbryce

Have the Syrian rebels been supplied Surface to Air shoulder fired missiles? In recent testimony to Congress, State Department Officials acknowledged that 10,000 to 20,000 of those are missing or unaccounted for in Lybia.


3 posted on 10/18/2012 4:41:07 AM PDT by Old Retired Army Guy
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To: lbryce

Too bad it didn’t crash into the ground and do that right on top of the folks saying all the akbars.


4 posted on 10/18/2012 4:43:02 AM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: Old Retired Army Guy

Exactly.

Supplying al Qaeda with Surface to Air shoulder
fired weapons was a PRIME PLAN of the US State Dept, Obama,
Clinton, Huma, and Holder. First, Syria, and
then all commercial flights will be the target,
as they planned.


5 posted on 10/18/2012 4:43:49 AM PDT by Diogenesis (Vi veri veniversum vivus vici)
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To: Old Retired Army Guy

And how funny will it be when one of these surface to air missiles is used against a heavy airliner in Europe or here in the US?
You can thank the democRATS for the unraveling of the Mideast.


6 posted on 10/18/2012 4:46:26 AM PDT by 9422WMR (Life is not fair, just deal with it)
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To: lbryce
That wasn't a missile: shoulder-fired missiles have small grenade-size warheads that wreck engines. That Mi-8 was hit by something and its engine was burning in the first part of the video and it was apparently on the way down when its cargo detonated. Something it was carrying - probably something big like artillery ammo - went off all at once.

I've seen a lot of helicopters shot down and they never go up like this!

7 posted on 10/18/2012 4:49:27 AM PDT by Chainmail (A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you're responsible.)
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To: lbryce

It’s almost as if some “conservatives” want Syria to go Islamist like Egypt.


8 posted on 10/18/2012 4:52:23 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: Chainmail

Could the fuel lead to an explosion like this?


9 posted on 10/18/2012 4:52:54 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Diogenesis

Probably a Soviet MANPAD design in the double digits.


10 posted on 10/18/2012 4:54:21 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Chainmail

You’re right. Watching the video at the end after the initial fiery explosion, the way it blew up in the sky in a strange black cloud the way it did,it didn’t seem like the helicopter met its fate via missile.


11 posted on 10/18/2012 4:55:39 AM PDT by lbryce (BHO-"Now, I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds" by way of Oppenheimer at Trinity, NM)
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To: lbryce

So now we know what Ambassador White was up to in Benghazi. Pity it turned out so badly for him.


12 posted on 10/18/2012 4:56:24 AM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: All
Click Here:Direct Link to the Video
13 posted on 10/18/2012 5:02:28 AM PDT by lbryce (BHO-"Now, I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds" by way of Oppenheimer at Trinity, NM)
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To: Little Ray

Stevens


14 posted on 10/18/2012 5:05:31 AM PDT by palmer (Jim, please bill me 50 cents for this completely useless post)
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To: jdsteel

20,000 shoulder launched rockets missing in Libya. I think I know where one of them went.


15 posted on 10/18/2012 5:10:07 AM PDT by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
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To: lbryce

They screamed Allahu Akbar when they hit it. I doubt these are akin to the Founding Fathers, no matter what McCain, Romney and Obama think. There is bipartisan support for these rebels, and it is more idiocy.


16 posted on 10/18/2012 5:12:56 AM PDT by PghBaldy
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To: Romulus

They do.


17 posted on 10/18/2012 5:14:30 AM PDT by PghBaldy
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To: lbryce

Hope and pray zero doesn’t decide he needs to inject American air forces into Syria for a poll bump.


18 posted on 10/18/2012 5:17:17 AM PDT by Rebelbase (The most transparent administration ever is clear as mud.)
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To: Romulus

Yes it is rather pathetic seeing some of the ignorance spewed on here relating to this subject. The same people who were all over Obama for Libya and Egypt are cheering for exactly the same thing in Syria. Yeah lets turn the entire middle east into a sunni extremist paradise. It is no surprise that Qatar is funding these terrorists, they(along with Saudi Arabia) also happen to fund the majority of mosque constructions around the world. This is just another way to spread their brand of islam around the world.

Don’t get me started on this “impartial envoy”, the same man who brokered a peace treaty in lebanon giving syria overlordship over lebanon, stripped christians of any power they might have had and put the power firmly in the hands of sunni muslims, who further enforced their position in the country by promptly naturalizing 250000 palestinians which amounted to roughly 8-10% of the population at the time.

Personally I see the sunni threat as equal if not far greater than the iranian shiite threat, especially due to the sunni in chief.


19 posted on 10/18/2012 5:31:11 AM PDT by hannibaal
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To: lbryce
More weapons in Syria could trigger 'all-out war'

I just saw a helicopter EXPLODE in mid-air.
I'd say we're well on our way, if not there already.
20 posted on 10/18/2012 5:46:17 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: driftdiver
"Could the fuel lead to an explosion like this?"

Way too big, too energetic. Jet fuel/air is much less explosive than gasoline/air and if it had been the fuel it would have been a much smaller detonation. This looked like the air burst of an aircraft bomb.

21 posted on 10/18/2012 5:53:51 AM PDT by Chainmail (A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you're responsible.)
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To: PghBaldy

yup!!


22 posted on 10/18/2012 6:01:42 AM PDT by dps.inspect (rage against the Obama machine...)
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To: Chainmail

Could have been a combination of atomized fuel spraying from a ruptured fuel line and on board ordnance exploding. Unusual though. Most helicopter shoot downs involve damage to flight control components and the aircraft just drops and spins to the ground.


23 posted on 10/18/2012 6:05:58 AM PDT by TADSLOS (Conservatism didn't magically show up in Romney's heart in 2012. You can't force what isn't in you.)
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To: lbryce

That’s one way to enforce a “no-fly” zone..


24 posted on 10/18/2012 6:23:58 AM PDT by ken5050 (Barack Obama: An empty suit sitting in an empty chair...)
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To: PghBaldy

I used to know someone who grew up in Libya because her father was stationed there with the State Dept. She left as a young teenager as part of an evacuation in the late 70s. At that time the people there loved Americans for the most part, except for the few radicals.

The radicals have had a generation to cement their position and are willing to kill anyone who disagrees. The fact that we are now helping the radicals is surreal.


25 posted on 10/18/2012 6:37:00 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

“Could the fuel lead to an explosion like this?”

That is a fuel/air explosion you see, but it was atomized by a high explosive, a lot of it — probably ordinance they were carrying was armed and rattling around as they tumbled.

BANG.


26 posted on 10/18/2012 6:37:00 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: Born to Conserve
What I want to know is why is it that we choose sides in this civil war? Why is it that we want to help the Jihadist to win control of a country with sophisticated weaponry and chemical weapons? At least the Assad government was stable.

Heaven help us.

27 posted on 10/18/2012 8:01:42 AM PDT by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: driftdiver
The radicals have had a generation to cement their position and are willing to kill anyone who disagrees. The fact that we are now helping the radicals is surreal.

Their radicals sound just like our democrats. Birds of a feather...

28 posted on 10/18/2012 8:06:57 AM PDT by meyer (It's 1860 all over again - the taxpayer is the new "N" word)
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To: Born to Conserve
ordinance

ordnance


29 posted on 10/18/2012 9:10:43 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: jdsteel

Hooray for Al Queda? We need more “democracy” islam nations in the Middle East!!! They are slaughtering the Christians and Americans and that has to be a good thing! :(


30 posted on 10/18/2012 10:16:41 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: A.A. Cunningham
Ordnance. You got that peeve too, huh?

That ain't it, but you should have seen the bomb dump at Chu Lai. Takes a lot to keep three squadrons of F-4s fed.

31 posted on 10/18/2012 11:51:50 AM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks lbryce.


32 posted on 10/18/2012 5:25:21 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Chainmail

Just my amateur observation but usually HE gives a smokey grey explosion while fuel will give you the “Hollywood” orange fire ball.


33 posted on 10/18/2012 5:36:04 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Straight Vermonter

HE usually has a large fireball but on the ground dust often obscures it from view. If you have seen some of the video of the IDEs used in Iraq and Afghanistan, you’ll usually see large fireballs from the large quantities of explosives used. That explosion says “HE” to me and I have been on both ends of that stuff much of my life.


34 posted on 10/18/2012 5:42:31 PM PDT by Chainmail (A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you're responsible.)
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