Russia confirms copter crash in Syria, pilots killed

Moscow

Russia Wednesday confirmed that a Russian military helicopter earlier crashed in northwestern Syria, killing two pilots and injuring a technician.
Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that a Russian Mi-24 helicopter carrying three personnel had crashed over Hama Province on December 31.
The copter was making a hard landing 15 kilometers from the Hama airfield in the province’s capital of the same name when it crashed, the ministry said. It cited a technical fault as the cause of the crash, dismissing some reports that the aircraft had been fired at.
The technician injured in the crash was transported to Khmeimim Airbase. The base, one of the two run on a permanent basis by Russia in Syria, is located in the province of Latakia, which neighbors Hama.
Russia has been carrying out an aerial bombardment campaign against extremist militants in Syria at Damascus’ request since September 2015. Along with Iranian advisory military support, the Russian campaign has helped eliminate Daesh terrorists and retake territory they had overrun in Syria.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, some 60,000 militants have been killed in the Russian campaign.
In mid-December last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to begin withdrawing from Syria as Daesh was routed in the country.—Agencies

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