BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:55 P.M.) – Following up on earlier reports – confirmed by both official Turkish military sources and pro-Kurdish sources – that Kurdish paramilitary fighters battling Turkish forces in Syria’s Afrin region had downed a military helicopter, video footage of the engagement has now been released.
The video confirms that the Turkish military helicopter was of a dedicated attack design, designated A129 ATAK.
What still remains somewhat vague is how exactly the helicopter was downed. To this end, sources are saying that a man-portable surface-to-air missile system (MANPADs) may have been used as the one of the (Kurdish fighter) voices in the video mentions something about a missile – this however, remains unconfirmed.
Given how low the helicopter was, it is possible that cannon fire downed it.
Earlier on, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally confirmed the loss of the military helicopter, adding into his statement that the perpetrators of the attack would ‘pay a heavy price’ for their deeds.