The Latest on the developments in the war in Syria (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

The Russian Defense Ministry says a transport helicopter has been shot down in Syria, but the fate of the five people onboard is still unknown.

The ministry says in a statement that the Mi-8 helicopter was shot down on Monday in Idlib province while returning to the Russian air base on the coast after delivering humanitarian goods to the city of Aleppo.

The helicopter had three crew members and two officers from the Russian reconciliation center.

___

11:50 a.m.

A Syrian military official says government forces have repelled an attack by insurgents that was an attempt to break the siege imposed on rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo.

And in nearby Idlib province, a helicopter gunship was shot down. That was reported by opposition activists.

Two activist groups — the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees — say rebels shot down the helicopter over Idlib. It wasn't clear if the helicopter was Russian or Syrian.

Monday's developments come a day after Syrian rebels launched the offensive to break up the government's siege of eastern, rebel-held part of Aleppo.

Opposition activists say intense fighting still ongoing in Aleppo. The military official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. He did not elaborate.