A Russian helicopter with five personnel on board has been shot down by rebel forces in northern Syria today, according to media reports.
The Russian Defence Ministry has confirmed that the Mi-8 transporter came down in the Idlib province. They said the helicopter was returning from Aleppo after delivering humanitarian assistance.
“A Russian Mi-8 military transport helicopter was shot down from the ground after delivering humanitarian aid to Aleppo,” the defence ministry statement was quoted by Russian news agencies. “Three crew members and two officers… were on board,” it added.
The Middle East Channel posted graphic images on Twitter which show a body (apparently of the pilot) being dragged by some people while others were seen taking pictures from their phones.
— Middle East Channel (@MEChannelLive) August 1, 2016
A partially burnt identity card showing the face of blonde woman has added a lot of intrigue in the whole episode.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees have said that the rebels shot down the Mi-8. However, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In July, two Russian airmen were killed in the central Homs province when their Mi-25 helicopter was shot down by what the Defense Ministry said were ISIS fighters.
An Mi-28N helicopter crashed near Homs in April, killing both crew members, but the Russian military said there was no evidence to suggest that it came under fire.
In November 2015, A Russian warplane was shot down by Turkey along the Syrian border.
As per UN estimates there are around 300,000 people still trapped in the rebel section of Aleppo.
Russia is helping the Bashar Assad government to fight rebels in the country’s civil war that has been going on for the last 5 years.