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Russian Defense Ministry Denies Warplane Shot Down in Syria

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov

Russia's Defense Ministry has denied reports that one of its aircraft was shot down near the Syrian city of Raqqa on Thursday, the Interfax news agency reported.

The statement came after claims by some media outlets that a Russian warplane had been downed by the Islamic State, a terrorist organization banned in Russia.

A post by the Raqqa_SL Twitter account sparked the reports, reading: “Fighters say they shot down a Russian warplane in Mansoura West Raqqa capture two pilots.”

The account is generally considered to be a reliable source of information from the Islamic State capital.

Earlier this week, a Russian Mi-28 helicopter crashed in western Syria, killing the two pilots on board.

The incident took place on Monday night near the city of Homs, RIA Novosti reported. Their sources said that the helicopter wasn't under fire at the time of the crash.

The bodies of the two pilots have been moved to the Khmeimim air base in Latakia.

Moscow began air strikes in Syria in September. Last month, President Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of the majority of Russian forces from the country, claiming that most of Russia's goals in the area had been accomplished.

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