Russian transport helicopter shot down near Aleppo, killing 5

CCTV News

Russian transport helicopter shot down near Aleppo, killing 5

A Russian military helicopter was shot down, killing all five people onboard near the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the transport helicopter was returning to base after delivering relief supplies to the city of Aleppo.

It’s the deadliest single incident for Moscow since its air campaign began nearly a year ago.

CCTV’s Julia Lyubova reports.

Russian transport helicopter shot down near Aleppo, killing 5

Russian transport helicopter shot down near Aleppo, killing 5

A Russian military helicopter was shot down, killing all five people onboard near the Syrian city of Aleppo. Russia's Defense Ministry said the transport helicopter was returning to base after delivering relief supplies to the city of Aleppo. It's the deadliest single incident for Moscow since its air campaign began nearly a year ago. CCTV's Julia Lyubova reports.

So far nobody has claimed the responsibility for the downed helicopter. But around 40 km (24 miles) from the crash site, rebel groups are staging an offensive to break a government siege on rebel-held parts of eastern Aleppo.

Pro-government forces on the ground are being supported by heavy air strikes in the area.

This is now Russia’s third helicopter lost in the Syrian operation. In November 2015 it was a helicopter which took part in the rescue of the pilot shot down by the Turkish air force.

In April an attack helicopter crashed in the region of Homs but the Defense Ministry insists it was not shot down.

In July, a Mi-25 attack helicopter was shot down near Palmyra, killing two Russian pilots.

Last week Russia and Syria launched a humanitarian aid plan for the 30,000 civilians trapped in the besieged city of Aleppo.

But the U.N. envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said that Moscow should leave it up to the United Nations and its partners to handle humanitarian issues.

Human rights groups and Western governments have accused Moscow of targeting moderate opposition groups and killing civilians.

But Russia insists it is targeting terrorists who it said disguise as Syrian opposition groups.