Russian Pilots Killed after Helicopter Crash in Central Syria

Russian Pilots Killed after Helicopter Crash in Central Syria

At least seven Russian planes were destroyed by rebel shelling at the Hmeymim air base in Syria on December 31, Russian daily Kommersant reported late on Wednesday, citing two sources.

The attack would mark the single biggest loss of military hardware for Russian Federation since it launched air strikes in Syria in 2015.

The Ministry of defense of Russia noted that the Russian helicopter on 31 December made a flight to the airport of Hama and due to a technical fault made a hard landing 15 km from the airport of destination.

The video marks "something of a shift in tone" from the ministry, Newsweek says, compared to its usual focus on "the actions and whereabouts of its two-legged members of the armed forces".

Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed the deaths of two helicopter pilots on New Year's Eve in Syria after a group of independent investigators reported the incident earlier on Wednesday.

The post did not specify whether the helicopter was escorting a humanitarian convoy or combat unit and the defence ministry did not give any further details.

Last month, Russian Federation announced it was withdrawing the bulk of its forces from Syria after it had been fully liberated of Daesh elements.

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