The crew members on board Russia’s transport helicopter downed in Syria died heroically in an attempt to minimize civilian casualties on the ground, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.
The Russian Aerospace Forces’ Mi-8 Hip transport helicopter was downed in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib while returning from a humanitarian mission in Aleppo, the Russian Defense Ministry said earlier in the day. Three crew members and two reconciliation center officers were on board the helicopter.
“Those who were aboard the helicopter, according to information from the Defense Ministry, have died heroically because they were attempting to steer the machine to minimize the casualties on the ground,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
He expressed deep condolences to the friends and relatives of the fallen servicemen.
On July 8, Daesh shot down a Syrian Mi-25 helicopter which was being piloted by two Russian officers. The crew received request form the Syrian side to strike advancing Daesh terrorists and thwarted the assault at the expense of their lives.
In April, a Mi-28N Havoc helicopter crashed near the city of Homs in Syria, killing both pilots.
In November, another Mi-8 was damaged and destroyed by terrorists after an emergency landing during a rescue operation to save a pilot of the Su-24 bomber downed by Turkey over Syria. A marine was killed.