TWO RUSSIAN helicopter pilots have died in eastern Syria after their Ka-52 helicopter crashed on Monday due to a presumed technical malfunction, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence.
The ministry commented on the crash, saying: "When carrying out a planned flight over the eastern regions of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Russian Ka-52 helicopter crashed.
The bodies of the pilots were located by rescue crews and taken back to their base.
The Ka-52 Alligator helicopter which the pilots were flying is designed to conduct reconnaissance flights and anti-ground missions, and they carry weapons.
The helicopters have been in use by the Russian army in Syria since 2016, and have provided air support during numerous military operations on the ground.
This crash is the first incident involving the Ka-52 helicopter in Syria, but is the second crash involving Russian army aircraft in a week.
A Su-30SM fighter jet crashed in the mediterranean Sea off the Syrian coast on May 3.
The crash is believed to have been caused by a bird getting sucked into the aeroplane’s engine, according to initial investigations.