A Russian Su-30SM fighter aircraft crashed after takeoff from Khmeimim airbase in Syria, as reported by Interfax with reference to the Russian Defense Ministry. Both pilots were killed.
The accident occurred on May 3 at 9:45 am over the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the plane was not shot down. The Ministry alleged that a bird could have gotten into the aircraft engine.
"According to preliminary information, the cause of the crash could be a bird hitting the engine. There was no fire impact on the plane, “ the Ministry said.
On March 6, Russian An-26 transport aircraft crashed during landing at Khmeimim airbase. Initially, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that 26 passengers and 6 crew members were killed, but later clarified that there were more than 33 passengers and six crew members among the dead. Militants from the group Jaysh al-Islam took responsibility for downing the plane. In the released statement they claimed that the aircraft had been shot down with machine-gun.
On January 4, the Russian Defense Ministry denied reports of the destruction of seven Russian aircraft at the Khmeimim air base after a drone attack. At the same time, the Ministry acknowledged that the base was shelled on December 31 and two Russian servicemen were killed.