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ATME, Syria — Syrian rebels downed an army helicopter for the first time on Tuesday with a newly-acquired ground-to-air missile, in what a watchdog said could be a turning point in the 20-month-old conflict.
Meanwhile, Russia, which has blocked UN resolutions critical of Bashar al-Assad's regime, said it only has a "working relationship" with the Syrian president and insisted special ties were a thing of the past.
A car bomb hit a regime security post near Damascus and clashes raged around the capital, as rebels further tightened the noose around the key northern city of Aleppo. A watchdog said 105 people were killed Tuesday across the country.
"It is the first time that the rebels have shot down a helicopter with a surface-to-air missile," Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said of the gunship, which was on a strafing run near a besieged northwestern base.
1. Fresh off the ship from Libya. The cost was a few thousand dollars plus one US Ambassador.
They'll be bringing more of the things out now. There are some 15,000 or so anti-aircraft missiles looted from Libyan stockpiles after we helped overthrow Gadhaffi. Expect more blowback from the Benghazi MANPADs.