Video has emerged of Syrian rebels destroying a Russian helicopter with a missile near the crash site of the Russian fighter jet shot down by Turkey because it was disputed that the warplane violated Turkish airspace.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) have taken responsibility for blowing up the helicopter with a TOW anti-tank missile, which is an American-made weapon. The helicopter was in the area on a rescue mission to find the two pilots of the Russian Su-24M tactical bomber that was shot down by with Sidewinder air-to-air missiles by Turkish F-16 fighter jets. The Russian pilots were able to parachute out of the crippled bomber, but one is reportedly dead after rebels fired upon them as they floated down to the ground.
Russian General Staff spokesman Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi confirmed that rebels in Syria fired on a Russian helicopter that taking part in a search and rescue operation for the two pilots of the Su-24. He said that the attack killed one crew member on the Mi-8 helicopter and forced it to land in neutral territory. It wasn’t confirmed if the helicopter obliterated in the video was the same aircraft.
The YouTube channel associated with the FSA’s 1st Coastal Brigade uploaded the explosive footage. The Free Syrian Army is considered to be moderates and they were one of the key components that started the Syrian Civil War to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
There are reports that the “rebels’ usage of these American-made TOW missiles has increased over 800 percent since Russia began air strikes against them at the end of September.”
The BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) is one of the most popular anti-tank guided missiles. They have been produced in the United States since the 1970s.
These chaotic events caused tweets bearing the hashtags #WorldWarIII and #WorldWar3 to explode on Twitter.
Have a nice Thanksgiving.