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Russia: MoD confirms Russian helicopter downed by al-Nusra, rebels

4 01.08.2016 Инфо

A Russian Mi-8 helicopter on humanitarian aid mission was shot down by ground fire killing all five passengers in Idlib province on Monday, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi confirmed. Three crew members and two officers from Russia's Reconciliation Centre died in the crash. The incident is the deadliest for Russia's military since its air campaign in Syria began in September 2015.
It is currently unclear who shot down the helicopter, though various anti-government groups, including Jabhat Fateh al-Sham - formerly Jabhat al-Nusra - operate in the area.
The helicopter was returning from a humanitarian mission in Aleppo. Russian and Syrian authorities set up a series of special humanitarian corridors in the city on July 30, in an effort to move civilians further from the intensified fighting in the besieged area of Aleppo. Those leaving Aleppo were being provided with accommodation in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, and supplied with food and medical assistance. In a bid to demilitarise the area the humanitarian corridors are also open to anti-government fighters, provided they have laid down their weapons and are prepared to surrender.