Two pilots of a Russian Ka-52 military attack helicopter were reportedly killed in a crash in eastern Syria late on Monday.
According to official figures, Russia has lost seven planes and six helicopters since beginning military operations in Syria in September 2015. Last Thursday, two Russian pilots were killed when their Su-30SM fighter jet crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after taking off from Russia’s Khmeimim air base.
“According to preliminary information, the incident may have been caused by a technical malfunction,” Interfax cited Russia’s Defense Ministry as saying about Monday’s helicopter crash.
A search-and-rescue team returned the crew members’ bodies to their base airfield, Interfax reported.
The Ka-52 helicopter, nicknamed Alligator, has been used by the Russian air force in Syria since 2016, providing close air support during surveillance and other operations.