August 29, 2012 - 16:00 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Syrian rebels claimed on Wednesday, Aug 29 they had destroyed five helicopters at a military airport between the northern cities of Aleppo and Idlib, after a watchdog reported fierce clashes there, AFP reported.
Abu Mossab, a rebel who participated in the attack said that the rebels had shelled the Taftanaz military airport with two captured military tanks and had destroyed five military helicopters.
The airport "was shelled with two tanks. Anti-aircraft batteries were also used," according to Abu Mossab.
"We destroyed five helicopters as well as buildings in the airport," he added, noting however that the airport was "still in the hands of the regime." The rebels, who lost two men in the fighting, later retreated.
Abu Mossab's claims could not be independently verified.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had earlier in the day reported fierce fighting near the airport and attacks on the nearby town of Taftanaz by the government helicopters.
The Britain-based Observatory said initial reports indicated government troops suffered 14 casualties in the fighting at Taftanaz, while two rebels and one civilian died elsewhere in Idlib province.
The airport has been the target of several attacks in past weeks by insurgents entrenched in Aleppo and Idlib, which have suffered daily shelling by government troops.
In Aleppo city, where the army and rebels have battled for over a month for control, fierce clashes broke out between the two sides in several districts, according to the watchdog.
And in Damascus, activists reported a third straight day of army attacks on rebel strongholds in the eastern outer belt of the city, collectively referred to as East Ghuta.