As the battle between rebels and the Syrian government rages on, information is one of the most powerful weapons used. Accordingly, when a Syrian military helicopter crashed yesterday, two explanations emerged.

Rebels claimed it as a tick mark for kills scored. Syria's government, however, attributed the crash to a mid-air collision with a passenger airliner carrying 200 people. But is claiming your helicopter pilots nearly accidentally killed 200 people a victory?

The Syrian government has been caught in a lie before. Rebels shot down a couple of MiG fighter jets last month and the state's propaganda machine immediately brushed it off as the result of mechanical failure. But the excuse they cooked up for this warbird loss was more elaborate. The liner the government claims the chopper hit allegedly landed safely, although officials said it had lost a piece of its tail section in the collision.

On the other hand, it's possible that rebel force may have scored a hit. Someone who was in the neighborhood at the time told the Associated Press that he heard explosions and gunfire just before receiving a report that the helo was down.

Gunfire doesn't sound like a mishap. Gunfire sounds like someone who doesn't like the government had pretty good aim.


Or, you know, the Syrian military is just full of murderously incompetent people instead of the incompetent murders the world thinks they are.

Photo credit: Associated Press (photos by "citizen journalists" in Syria)