At least 7 Russian jets destroyed by shelling at Syrian airbase
Moscow (UNA-OIC) � At least seven Russian planes were destroyed by rebel shelling at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria on December 31, Russian daily Kommersant reported late on Wednesday.
In the single biggest loss of military hardware for Russia since it launched its airstrikes in Syria in autumn 2015, more than 10 servicemen were wounded in the attack by radical militants, the report said.
At least four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35S fighters and an An-72 transport plane, as well as an ammunition depot, were destroyed by the shelling, Kommersant said on its website, citing two military-diplomatic sources.
Kommersant said the Russian defense ministry had not commented, Reuters reported, adding that it was not able to immediately reach the ministry.
Earlier on Wednesday, the ministry said a Mi-24 helicopter had crash-landed in Syria on December 31 due to a technical fault and two pilots died.
Last month, Russia began establishing a permanent presence at Hmeymim and a naval base at Tartous although President Vladimir Putin has ordered a significant withdrawal of his military from Syria, declaring their work largely done.
Source: International Islamic News Agency