Update: Russian Transport AN-26 plane crash in Syria kills 39 on board

A Russian Transport plane crashed in Syria killing all 33 passengers and 6 crew members on board. Previously, it had been reported that the 32 people were killed in the crash on Tuesday.

As per Russian media, the An-26 plane crashed during landing at Hmeimim airbase, near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia. The preliminary information suggests that the crash could have caused due to technical malfunction.

The crash occurred as the Antonov-26 transport plane came down 500 meters (about 550 yards) short of the runway, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

“The reason for the crash according to preliminary information could have been a technical fault,” the ministry said, adding that the plane had not come under fire according to a report from the ground.

The crash is the latest in a string of episodes involving markedly higher casualties among Russians in Syria after more than two years of relatively few. From the time Russia first intervened militarily in Syria in September 2015 until early this year, the public casualty figure was about 46 killed, although some analysts had suspected that it was higher.

The respective authorities are now undergoing necessary investigation.

Last month, a Russian Sukhoi-25 attack aircraft was shot down over the northwestern province of Idlib, believed to have been hit by a shoulder-launched missile however, there is no any report of attack on the AN-26 plane.

Hmeimim is Russia’s main base for air strikes on rebel groups in Syria – strikes that have enabled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces to recover much lost ground.

Russian air strikes are said to have killed many civilians – though Moscow insists that it only targets rebel “terrorist” fighters.

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