Video: Syrian Army helicopter comes down and one crew member is 'executed' in the country's rebel-held north

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights reported that four crew members were captured and one was executed at the crash site

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The Independent Online

A video has captured the moment a Syrian Army helicopter came down in a north-western rebel-held area of the country, leading to four crew members being captured and one being killed, a monitoring group has said.

The amateur footage taken over the weekend shows the helicopter crashing in the Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib province, an area held by anti-government fighters including the al-Qaeda backed group the al-Nusra front.

According to the British-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, four of the crew members were taken prisoner, while a fifth was “executed” at the site of the crash. The whereabouts and wellbeing of the crew’s sixth member is still unknown.

Images of the downed craft were circulated across social media showing the helicopter’s nose damaged and its undercarriage ripped away.

Rebel fighters as well as a number of locals can be seen surveying the wreckage.

Helicopter-crash-1.jpgThe SOHR said that the craft was forced to make an emergency landing after it had got into trouble in the rocky hills over near the near the northern town of Maarat al-Numan.

Syria’s state news agency confirmed that the craft had been forced to make an emergency landing after it had experienced “technical problems”.

It said that a search for the crew members was now under way. Reports from the United Nations have stated in the past that helicopters like the one downed over the weekend were being used across Syria in barrel bomb attacks, a form of explosive in violation of the UN Security Council law.

Barrel bombs are large cylindrical devices packed with large amounts of explosives that can cause indiscriminate damage and devastation far beyond their intended targets.

In February, President Bashar al-Assad denied that the Syrian Army used barrel bombs.