Russian military personnel killed in shelling of Khmeimim air base in Syria

Russian military personnel killed in shelling of Khmeimim air base in Syria

Based on the defense ministry's and officials' statements, TASS calculated that 41 Russian servicemen were killed during the Syrian operation, which was launched on September 30, 2015 at the request of the Syrian government.

Russian Federation rejects opposition and human rights groups' accusations its jets have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians since its major intervention two years ago that turned the tide in favour of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

On January 3, Russia's Defense Ministry said that one of its military helicopters crashed in Syria, killing both pilots aboard.

The monitor said "at least four bombs flattened two buildings in the Eastern Ghouta town of Misraba in an attack that killed more than 20 and wounded more than 40 people".

The Observatory, a war monitor based in Britain, said 11 women and a child were among the dead in the strikes in Misraba, which it said were carried out by Russian planes.

Almost 30 civilians, including children, have been killed by airstrikes in the rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta, outside the capital, Damascus.

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It should be noted that the Russian daily Kommersant, referring to its two military and diplomatic sources, reported that radical Islamists fired mortar shells at the Russian Khmeimim Air Base in Syria on December 31.

'As a result of the shelling, two servicemen were killed, ' the defence ministry said.

Moscow acknowledged in recent months that its special forces are also active on the ground in the offensive against Islamic State group militants.

"Kommersant's report about the "virtual destruction" of seven Russian warplanes at the Khmeimim airbase is fake", the ministry was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"On December 31, 2017, after dark, the Hmeymim airfield suddenly came under mortar shelling from a mobile subversive group of militants".

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