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39 die in Russian plane crash at Syria base: Kremlin

39 die in Russian plane crash at Syria base: Kremlin

The Russian defence ministry confirmed all 39 dead in a plane An-26 were military personnel. A Russian military transport plane crashed in Syria on Tuesday, killing all people aboard. This incident at Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Latakia Province sharply raises the death toll from the Kremlin’s Syria operation – to 84.

President Vladimir Putin expressed “deep condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed in the crash and also to all of the military over the loss of their comrades”.  On Tuesday, Kremlin confirmed that the death toll was revised after an initial report of 32 dead.

Sergei Shoigu, the minister of defence said all of the dead after crashing a Soviet-designed An-26 were military personnel, something it hasn’t always admitted in recent incidents in Syria. In 2015, Kremlin began conducting air strikes in Syria, and its intervention has swung the nearly seven-year conflict firmly in favour of the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Russian plane crash may have been caused by a technical fault

The Russian defence ministry was cited as saying that the plane, a Soviet-designed An-26, crashed atHmeymim airbase and that initial information suggested the crash may have been caused by a technical fault. Vladimir Putin, who is on a trip in the Urals region, spoke to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on the phone about the accident.

The Investigative Committee, which covers major incidents, also announced a probe into possible safety breaches, saying the plane was carrying out a planned flight.

The daily newspaper Izvestiya reported that the black box flight recorders had been found from the crashed the transport plane that burst into flames near the highway that connects Damascus to Latakia on Tuesday. The recent crash brings Russia’s official military losses in the Syrian armed conflict to 84.