At least seven Russian planes were destroyed by rebel shelling at the Hmeimim air base in Syria on 31 December, Russian daily Kommersant reported late on Wednesday, citing two sources.

In the single biggest loss of military hardware for Russia since it launched air strikes in Syria in autumn 2015, “radical Islamists” wounded more than 10 servicemen in the attack, the report said.

At least four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35S fighters and an An-72 transport plane, as well as an ammunition depot, were destroyed by the shelling, Kommersant said on its website, citing two “military-diplomatic” sources.


Kommersant said the Russian defence ministry had not commented. Other outlets or government agencies have not verified the claims.

Earlier on Wednesday, the ministry said an Mi-24 helicopter had crash-landed in Syria on 31 December because of a technical fault and two pilots died.



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