Russian transport plane crashes in Syria killing 32 aboard

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A Russian transport plane crashed in Syria killing all 32 people on board and the aircraft reportedly wasn’t shot down, the Defense Ministry said as quoted by Aljazeera. 

The Antonov-26 aircraft crashed at Russia’s Khmeimim airbase in Latakia province on Tuesday, Russian media quoted the ministry as saying.

Initial information suggested the crash may have been caused by a technical fault. The aircraft hit the ground about 500 meters short of the runway, the ministry said.

Twenty-six passengers and six crew members were on the aircraft when it went down at about 3pm Moscow time (12:00GMT).

The Khmeimim airbase is the main site for Russia’s military campaign in Syria. The plane reportedly did not come under fire.

“Nobody survived,” the ministry’s statement said. “According to reports from the scene, no fire was delivered against the plane.”

Russia’s air force has played a crucial role in the seven-year war after it began operations in September 2015 in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Russia’s air power turned the tide in the war in Assad’s favor.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered “a significant part” of Moscow’s military contingent at Khmeimim to start withdrawing in December, declaring their work largely done. But casualties continue to mount.

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