A Russian fighter jet crashed off the Syrian coast on Monday while trying to land on an aging aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean, Russian military officials said.
The Russian Defense Ministry blamed a technical failure for the crash of the jet, a MIG-29, according to a ministry statement carried by the Interfax news agency. The pilot, who was the only one in the jet, ejected safely and was picked up by a rescue team, the statement said.
The ministry’s statement did not specify whether the airplane had crashed on the carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, or into water.
In a separate statement, the ministry said that rebels in Aleppo had used chemical weapons in an attack on the Syrian Army, poisoning around 30 of its servicemen.
Russia stationed the Admiral Kuznetsov, its only aircraft carrier, off the Syrian coast last week in what analysts said was the latest attempt by the Kremlin to demonstrate its growing might. Designed in the Soviet era, the warship has had a history of problems. Because its technology is obsolete, analysts say, planes are forced to take off without a full load of fuel and weapons.
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