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Media: Syrian rebels shot down Russian An-26 from machine guns

The Syrian rebel group “Jays al-Islam” (“Army of Islam”) claimed responsibility for the fall of the Russian An-26 transport aircraft. According to the militants, who are quoted by the Lebanese edition of Ad-Diyar, they shot the aircraft from the machine guns when it came to land at the Syrian airfield Khmeimim.

Representatives of the insurgents added that their attack was a response to the operation of government forces in Syria (supported by Russian military consultants) in one of the provinces of Damascus – East Guta. In February, she was subjected to massive artillery shelling, which resulted in the death of several hundred civilians.

An-26 aircraft. Photo by Vitaly Ankov, RIA Novosti
An-26 aircraft. Photo by Vitaly Ankov, RIA Novosti

The Russian An-26 crashed on March 16, around 15:00 Moscow time. On board the ship were 39 people, including six crew members – all of them were killed.

In the message of the Ministry of Defense it was separately noted that before the fall the plane was not fired. A few hours later, the Investigative Committee of Russia initiated a criminal case under Article 351 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“violation of the rules of flight or preparation for them, which entailed grave consequences”).

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