Video appears to show the Syrian air force shelling residential targets after rebels captured the crew of a downed military helicopter. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION REUTERS CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT OF THIS VIDEO, WHICH WAS OBTAINED FROM A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE The Syrian air force shelled targets in Idlib province on Monday (March 23), a day after rebels captured crew members of a military helicopter that crashed in the area, videos posted to a social media website purport to show. The crash was said to have taken place in Deir Sunbol village, a rebel-held area in Idlib province, on Sunday (March 22). On Monday, military planes hovered over the village, shelling residential areas, one video purported to show. A man in the clip can be heard saying that residential properties were being shelled in retaliation for the plane crash in Jabal al-Zawiya, referring to the region where Deir Sunbol is located. Elsewhere, several parts of Deraa province were also targeted by air strikes, according to amateur video. One clip, said to have been shot in Maarbah town, captured the moment an explosion took place, triggering huge clouds of smoke and dust. Another, purportedly shot in Inkhil, shows scenes of panic in the immediate aftermath of an air strike, with people running for cover, or trying to help the injured. A third video from Deraa purports to show widespread destruction in Maarbah town. Reuters is unable to verify the content of the videos, which were obtained from a social media website. However, the United Nations says the Syrian air force uses helicopters extensively to drop barrel bombs, improvised munitions, in indiscriminate attacks that cause widespread casualties in residential areas. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied in a BBC interview last February that his forces used barrel bombs.