Syrian rebel fighters claimed that they shot down a military helicopter near Douma, a town just east of the capital city of Damascus where heavy fighting has been reported between government forces and revels.

However, the state controlled TV network said the aircraft crashed.

According to reports, President Basher al-Assad’s regime has increasingly used helicopters and other aircraft to conduct its brutal campaign against rebels and civilians.

"We heard the sound of several explosions and some gunfire, and a few minutes later we were told that a helicopter had crashed,” Mohammad Saeed, an activist in Douma, told the Daily Telegraph.