Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Russian Plane With 32 Onboard Crashes In Syria, All Dead

Russian Plane With 32 Onboard Crashes In Syria, All Dead

Russia's Defence Ministry on Tuesday said 32 people were killed after a military plane crashed during landiing at Khmeimim air base in Syria, the TASS news agency reported.

The Antonov-26 aircraft crashed at Russia's Khmeimim airbase in Latakia province on Tuesday, Russian media quoted the ministry as saying. "All of them were military servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces", the ministry said, stressing once again that no fire had been delivered against the plane.

Russian air strikes are said to have killed many civilians - though Moscow insists that it only targets rebel "terrorist" fighters.

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If preliminary information proves correct, the tragedy would not be the first fatal air crash suffered by Russian Federation in connection with its campaign in Syria.

Reports out of Moscow confirm a Russian military transport aircraft crashed in Syria on Tuesday.

A technical malfunction was behind the crash, the ministry said, adding that the aircraft was not attacked. It said the plane came down around 500 metres (550 yards) short of the runway at Hmeymim as it attempted to land.

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According to Russian news agencies, it appears that the crash was caused by a technical issue.

Russian forces have been in Syria since September 2015, supporting President Bashar al-Assad's fight against opposition groups and the Islamic State.

The An-26 is a Soviet-made twin-engine turboprop jet first developed in 1969 and is used by the Russian government for short-range flights.

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This incident also comes nearly three months after Putin declared total victory over terrorists in Syria and promised a major withdrawal of Russian forces from the country, which does not appear to have materialized.

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