32 die in Russian plane crash at Syria base

Aaron Brown
March 7, 2018

At that time, a Tu-154 plane carrying members of the world-famous Alexandrov Ensemble army choir crashed after taking off from Sochi en route to Syria. Authorities say the pilot survived because the plane's passenger cabin remained intact.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over the phone on the An-26 military transport plane's crash in Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. The jet was carrying 26 passengers and six crew members, according to preliminary information from the Ministry of Defense.

A Russian transport plane with 39 people on board has come down in Syria on approach to the Khmeimim airbase near Latakia.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry statement regarding the incident, an investigation into the cause of the crash is already underway, though no further details were available at this time.

The Russians have, without supplying any evidence, accused countries opposed to the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad, such as the United States and Saudi Arabia, of directly sending these types of weapons to opposition forces or terrorist groups in the past.

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Tuesday's crash brings Russia's official military losses in the Syrian war to 84.

"There was no attack on the aircraft reported at the site", Russian news agencies quoted officials as saying.

Hmeimim has been Russia's main base of operations for its air campaign against insurgent groups in Syria.

On New Year's Eve last year, a mortar attack on the base killed two Russian soldiers. It is mostly used as a cargo plane, the An-26 has also been used to dispatch paratroopers in attack missions of its own.

More recently, the United States said that air and artillery strikes launched last month after pro-government forces attacked a base housing US -backed opposition forces and USA military advisers killed about 100 of the attackers.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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