Two Russian Helicopter Pilots Die in Crash in Syria's Homs
10:50 12.04.2016(updated 12:15 12.04.2016)
A Russian Aerospace Forces Mi-28N Havoc helicopter crashed near the city of Homs in Syria, killing both pilots, the Russian Defense Ministry's press service reported Tuesday.
"According to a report from the crash site, the helicopter was not shot down, the press service's statement said."
The crash occurred at 22:29 GMT on Monday.
"Two crewmembers were killed. The bodies of the dead pilots were removed [from the crash site] during search and rescue operations and are currently at the Hmeymim Airbase."
According to the ministry, the reasons behind the crash are yet to be determined. A task force has been sent to the site of the incident to investigate the crash.
President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Supreme Commander-in-Chief, has been informed about the crash, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.
"Obviously, the commander in chief is notified first of such emergency incidents."
Russia has been conducting a counterterrorist operation in Syria since September 30. On March 14, President Vladimir Putin ordered to withdraw the main part of the air group from Syria.
On November 24, a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria. One of the pilots was killed by Islamist rebels after ejecting. A Mi-8 helicopter, which had been sent to conduct a search and rescue mission, was damaged by the rebels' fire, and a naval infantry officer was killed.
The Mi-28N Night Hunter is a modification of the Mi-28 gunship designed for round-the-clock combat operations. It can find and destroy the enemy's vehicles and manpower.
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