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. The three crew and two officers from Russia’s reconciliation center were returning to base
from Zero Hedge:
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. The three crew and two officers from Russia’s reconciliation center were returning to base. The condition of those on board has yet to be established, the ministry said.
“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.
The attack takes place one day after Al Nusra launched an offensive campaign to break through the Syrian government siege, assisted by Russians, of the rebel-held city of Aleppo.
The helicopter was returning to the Russian air base at Khmeimim, the statement added.
Warning: graphic footage of what appear to be the dead pilots. Viewer discretion advised
[Editor’s note: with the usual Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar! Chanting in the background. Kinda reminds you of “Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! ]
It is the third Russian helicopter lost in action in Syria this year. In July, an Mi-25 attack chopper was shot down near Palmyra, killing two Russian pilots. The aircraft had been engaging the advancing Islamic State militants at the Syrian Army’s request when it was taken down, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. In April, an Mi-28N attack helicopter crashed while performing a flight near the city of Homs, with the Defense Ministry stressing it was not shot down. The crash left both pilots dead, with technical failure cited by Moscow as the likely cause of the accident.
Last October, another Mi-8 helicopter was badly damaged and then destroyed by IS fighters after an emergency landing in the middle of search and rescue operation to extract a surviving co-pilot of a Su-24M bomber jet shot which was down by a Turkish Air Force F-16.