Two Russian pilots have reportedly been killed, after Islamic State militants shot down their military helicopter, near the Syrian city of Palmyra.
A Russian military helicopter has reportedly been shot down by Islamic State militants near the city of Palmyra, in Syria, killing both pilots.
The Mi-25 aircraft had been conducting a test flight in the area, when it received a request for assistance from the Syrian military, who were under attack from Islamic State militants east of Palmyra, reports said.
The Russian defence ministry, in a statement, described how the helicopter crew had received a request from the embattled Syrian unit’s command to strike the advancing IS fighters.
The helicopter carried out the strikes, supporting the Syrian troops, until it had ran out of ammunition, and was shot down by Islamic State militants from the ground.
In the statement, the defence ministry said that both the helicopter’s pilots had been killed in the incident, naming the men as Ryafagat Khabibulin and Yevgeny Dolgin.