Military Helicopter Crashes Near Syrian Capital

Posted September 20th, 2012 at 5:05 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian state television says a military helicopter has crashed near the capital, Damascus.

The report said the aircraft went down Thursday in the suburb of Douma, but did not give additional details.

Opposition activists said rebels shot down the helicopter. Fighters opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have claimed bringing down military helicopters before, including late last month in Damascus.

VOA correspondent Elizabeth Arrott reported heavy shelling in the capital Thursday. She says classrooms are crowded in the al Abbassiyin neighborhood not far from the shelling, as parents bring their children from nearby towns where fighting rages.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says both the government and the opposition in Syria seem determined to resolve the crisis militarily.

He told reporters Wednesday that military means will not bring an answer, and that the crisis should be resolved through political dialogue.

Mr. Ban said Syria will be a top issue as he meets with world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, saying they must urgently address the situation.