Russian military helicopter crashes in Syria, killing both pilots

A Russian Mi-28N attack helicopter crashed in Syria in the early hours of Tuesday, killing its two pilots, Russian state media reported.

The helicopter, flying a mission in the central province of Homs, was apparently not shot down, Russia's Defence Ministry said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

The military is trying to discern the cause of the crash, and the two bodies were recovered and brought to a Russian airbase on the Syrian coast, a Defence Ministry spokesman told TASS.

The Interfax news agency cited an undisclosed source in the military as saying that the pilots were wearing night-vision goggles and flying in complete darkness over little-known terrain.

"There could have been some kind of obstacle on the flight path that the helicopter crashed into," the source was quoted as saying.

The crash occurred at 1:29 local time (23:29 GMT) close to the city of Homs, the TASS news agency reported, adding that Mi-28N "Night Hunter" helicopters were being frequently used to secure the nearby city of Palmyra, in the Homs province.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman told reporters that the cause of the crash was most likely a "technical malfunction," TASS reported.

Russia has been a key ally to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and launched an airstrike campaign in his support in late September 2015.

Last update: Tue, 12/04/2016 - 13:07
Author: 

More from World

Jammeh looted state coffers before leaving Gambia, say officials

Former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh emptied the country’s state coffers before relinquishing power, a member of the...

Trump invites Netanyahu to meeting as new settlement action weighed

US President Donald Trump has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet him at the White House next...

Trump's senior staff sworn in at White House

About 30 officials who will serve as advisers and assistants to President Donald Trump were were sworn in Sunday at...

Dozens killed in clashes in south-west Yemen

ozens of people have been killed in clashes in war-torn Yemen's south-west, a source in the Yemeni military told dpa...

Iran hands down 5-year prison sentence to British woman for spying

A court in Tehran has sentenced a British woman, who has already been held in custody in Iran for 10 months, to five...