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Russia's Mi-8 was shot down over Jabhat al-Nusra-controlled area — General Staff

Russia's military transport helicopter Mi-8 was shot down in Syria on Monday over an area under the control of the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra (outlawed in Russia) and related groups of the so-called "moderate opposition," the chief of the General Staff's main operations department, Sergey Rudskoi, said on Monday.

"Today there has been a terrorist attack that resulted in the loss of a Russian military-transport helicopter Mi-8, which was on the way to base after completing a humanitarian mission to deliver food and medical supplies to Aleppo residents. It carried a crew of three and two officers from the Russian center for the reconciliation of warring factions in Syria," he said. "The helicopter was gunned down over a territory controlled by the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nisra and related groups of the so-called 'moderate opposition.'"

The Russian MI-8 helicopter was shot down in the Syrian province of Idlib with fire from the ground on the way to the Hmeymim air base after delivering humanitarian aid to the city of Aleppo. There were three crewmembers and two officers from Russia's center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria on board. All died.

It was the third Russian helicopter lost in Syria. A Mi-8AMTSH helicopter was gunned down on November 24, 2015 and a Mi-28N attack helicopter crashed near Homs overnight to April 12, 2016. Apart from that, a Mi-25 (Mi-24 in export edition) helicopter of the Syrian air forces with two Russian officers onboard was downed on July 8.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 01Aug16]

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