Russian military plane crash in Syria kills 32: Agencies


Mar 6, 2018-A Russian military transport plane crashed in Syria on Tuesday, killing all 32 people on board, Russian news agencies quoted the Defence Ministry as saying, an incident that sharply raises the death toll from the Kremlin’s Syria operation.

President Vladimir Putin, who is running for re-election later this month, in December ordered “a significant part” of Moscow’s military contingent in Syria to start withdrawing, declaring their work largely done.

But casualties continue to mount.

The defense ministry was cited as saying that the plane, a Soviet-designed An-26, crashed at Russia’s Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province and that initial information suggested the crash may have been caused by a technical fault.

Twenty-six passengers and six crew members were on board, and all were killed in the crash, the news agencies quoted the ministry as saying.

Russian state TV cited military officials as saying the aircraft had not been brought down by enemy fire. It said the crash happened as the plane came into land at Hmeymim, and that it came down around 500 meters (550 yards) short of the runway.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had expressed his condolences to relatives of those killed, and to all Russian service personnel, the RIA news agency reported.

Published: 06-03-2018 21:52

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