Russian Helicopter Shot Down In Syria, 5 Killed
A Russian helicopter was shot down by Syrian militants today and all 5 people on board died, according to the Associated Press.
The helicopter had just completed a humanitarian aid mission delivering food and medical supplies to the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo and was en route to the Hemeimeem Air Base in Syria, according to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry. The Ministry called the downing of the helicopter “a terrorist attack.”
Two military officers and three crew members from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria were killed in the crash. The helicopter was a Mi- 8, similar to the one pictured above. Videos are circulating on the internet that purports to show the burning wreckage.
The area is extremely dangerous. There have been over one hundred terrorist attacks in the last two months, according to Defense Ministry officials. Over three hundred civilians have escaped with military assistance, but four have been executed by militants.
The United Nations reports that 25,000 civilians have been displaced in war-torn Aleppo and are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien called for a 48- hour “humanitarian pause” in the fighting so that civilians can escape the increasingly volatile and unstable region.