Russian planes destroyed in Syria by rebel shelling

Russian planes destroyed in Syria by rebel shelling

The attack took place on December 31, 2017 at the Hmeymim air base, and if the reports are confirmed, it is being called Russia's single biggest loss of military hardware since the fall of 2015, when Russian Federation launched an airstrike in Syria.

The admission comes amid reports from Russian newspaper Kommersant that the attack destroyed at least seven Russian aircraft as well - four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35S fighters, and an An-72 transport plane.

Russian president Vladimir Putin lost at least seven planes when so-called radical Islamists attacked a Syrian airbase, it has been claimed. The attack also damaged a Syrian MiG-25 "that was likely already out of commission", according to STRATFOR. However, the ministry denied the destruction of aircraft.

'As darkness fell, the Hmeimim air base was subjected to sudden mortar shelling from a mobile group of militants.

"There have been at least six major massacres perpetrated by Russian Federation in indiscriminate bombing of cities and towns with thousands fleeing their homes in the last two weeks", said Mustafa al Haj Yousef, the head of Idlib's Civil Defence, rescuers who work in opposition-held areas.

The Kommersant business daily reported seven military planes had been "practically destroyed" in the attack, citing two military-diplomatic sources, but the ministry said the report was "fake".

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"The thirty-first day of December in the execution of the flight to the aerodrome of Hama due to a technical fault crashed the Russian Mi-24 helicopters", - stated in the message. Both pilots were killed in the crash.

The Defense Ministry added that Russian aviation units in Syria were combat ready and continue to accomplish their assigned tasks in full.

Russian Federation has recently repeatedly accused the United States of harboring, arming, and supporting Islamic State fighters at its base in Et-Tanf (Homs province).

He stressed that the Russian General Staff and the Russian Defense Ministry had not managed to hide such large-scale losses. He also stated there are militants in the Shaddady camp in the north-east of the country, at another USA base, taking a new name (for example, the "New Syrian Army").

The Moscow Times wrote this about the situation, "Meanwhile, independent investigators at The Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), who monitor the Ukrainian and Syrian wars, expressed doubts about the accuracy of the Kommersant report in a Twitter post on Wednesday".

Jets have pounded rebel-held Harasta when rebels this week overran a major base in the heart of the enclave which residents say the army uses to pound residential areas.