A Russian helicopter, a Mi-8, has been shot down over Syria’s Idlib province.
A Russian Government spokesman has stated that all five aboard the helicopter have been killed.
Dmitry Peskov said:
“From what we know from information provided by the Defense Ministry, all those who were on the helicopter died.”
“[The Crew] died heroically because they tried to move the aircraft away so to minimise losses on the ground.”
It is understood that the Mi-8 helicopter was shot down while returning to the Russian air base on the coast after delivering humanitarian goods to the city of Aleppo.
The Mi-8 is a transport helicopter but is also used as an airborne command post, armed gunship, and reconnaissance platform.
Along with the related, more powerful Mil Mi-17, the Mi-8 is among the world’s most-produced helicopters, used by over 50 countries. As of 2016, it is the third most common operational military aircraft in the world.
Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War began in September 2015 after an official request by the Syrian government for military help against rebel and jihadist groups.
The intervention at first consisted of air strikes primarily in north-western Syria against militant groups opposed to the Syrian government, including Syrian National Coalition, the Islamic State, al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in the Levant) and the Army of Conquest.