By SIMON OSBORNE ISLAMIC STATE (ISIS) fighters claim to have shot down a Russian helicopter gunship in Syria today.
According to reports, the aircraft was brought down by a guided missile in countryside near Huwaysis to the east of the war-torn city of Homs.
ISIS claimed responsbility for the helicopter downing via their Amaq News Agency.
They tweeted: “A Russian attack helicopter is destroyed by a guided missile near the Huwaysis area in the eastern countryside of Homs.”
The unverified claims have not been confirmed as of yet.
Russian aircraft have been operating in the area this week after ISIS jihadists attacked Syrian Arab Army positions near the al-Mahr oilfield to the east of Homs on Monday.
More than 12 Syrian soldiers were killed and several more injured in the offensive which only came to end when Russian jets targeted ISIS hideouts in the area.
Russia has been waging a brutal campaign of airstrikes on rebel-held parts of eastern Aleppo 115 miles to the north of Homs.
Rebel fighters from the Free Syrian Army took control of Homs in May 2011 and the city was then under siege for three years.
In early May 2014, following an agreement reached between the government and the rebels, Free Syrian Army forces were allowed to evacuate the city, leaving Homs under full government control.