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Monday, August 1, 2016

Russian Military Helicopter Shot Down Over Syria; All Five On Board Killed

Nine months after a Russian Su-24 fighter jet was downed over Syria by Turkey for allegedly violating the country's airspace, a Russian Mi-8 helicopter has been shot down by ground fire in Syria following delivery of humanitarian supplies to Aleppo, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. Three crew and two officers from Russia's Reconciliation Center died, according to a Kremlin statement.
"On August 1, an Mi-8 transport helicopter has been shot down by ground fire in Idlib province after a delivery of humanitarian aid to the city of Aleppo. Three crew members and two officers from the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria were on board," the Defense Ministry said in a statement. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed in a statement later in the day that all those on board are dead.
“Those on board the helicopter were killed, as we learned from the Defense Ministry's report. They died heroically as [the crew] tried to divert the helicopter to minimize casualties on the ground,” Peskov said, adding the Mi-8 had been on a humanitarian mission.  "The Kremlin conveys its deep condolences to the families of those killed in action," he added.
The helicopter was returning to the Russian air base at Khmeimim, the statement added. The ministry has not yet revealed identities of those on board.

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