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The Boston Globe


Syrian rebels claim they downed regime copter

Group denies UN suggestion it used nerve gas

BEIRUT — Syrian rebels said Monday that they had shot down a government helicopter in the east of the country, killing eight security troops, as new accusations emerged that insurgents seeking to overthrow President Bashar Assad may have used an illegal nerve agent in the country’s grinding civil war. The rebels denied the assertion.

The latest battlefield accounts, focusing on the east and north of the country, came after Assad’s government rebuked Israel for an air attack on military targets near Damascus, the capital, early Sunday, saying the strike “opened the door to all possibilities,” deepening apprehension that the civil war could spill beyond Syria’s frontiers.

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