Dramatic video appears to show PKK shoot down Turkish helicopter
A screenshot from the video.
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Video appearing to show Kurdish militants shooting a Turkish helicopter out of the sky surfaced on Twitter on Saturday.
In the video, a fighter who appears to be with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fires a missile from a MANPAD, or man-portable air-defense system, which is essentially just a missile inside a tube that uses infrared or laser beams to hone in on its target.
In the video, moments after the missile is fired, it connects with a helicopter in a fiery burst. The chopper goes spinning towards the ground.
Baxtiyar Goran, a reporter with the Kurdistan 24 news agency, posted the video to Twitter on Saturday:
— End of Sykes-Picot (@BaxtiyarGoran) May 14, 2016
MANPADS are easily carried by militants who are conducting guerilla warfare because they are light-weight, portable and battery-operated. The US Department of State calls them a "threat" to peace and stability worldwide.
Turkey said two of its pilots perished in a helicopter crash on Friday, but said the crash was likely due to a technical problem, not to enemy fire.
The country's ruling regime has been engaged in a low-grade civil war for decades with insurgent Kurdish groups who want their own state. A ceasefire between the two sides fell apart last year, leading to an escalation in fighting.
Turkey said on Saturday that its air force had carried out nine airstrikes on Kurdish rebel positions the day before, destroying a total of 98 "targets."
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