Jan. 8 - Syrian rebels say they downed a government helicopter in Idlib and continued their efforts to advance on Damascus. Deborah Gembara reports.
Coming under fire in Syria (explosions all around helicopter) --- Within moments, this government helicopter dips below the horizon --- and a column of smoke can be seen rising from the site, not far from Taftanaz air base in Idlib. Nearby, rebels cheer --- a small victory in their bid to take control of the base --- in this latest video posted to a social media website, whose content Reuters cannot indepedently verify. Tuesday saw fighting throughout the country --- including the outskirts of Damascus where rocket fire was directed at the rebel-held suburb of Daraya. Other video from another suburb of the capital shows rebels taking up positions. President Bashar al Assad's forces are working to keep a hold on Damascus which is now ringed by opposition forces. While rebel groups are targeting military installations throughout the country, they are continuing their advance on the city --- well aware that a victory in Damascus could deal a symbolic blow to Assad's supporters.