first published on January 5, 2018 by Sean
Seven Russian aircraft were destroyed at the Hmeymim air base in Syria by rebel shelling, resulting in the largest loss of Russian equipment in over two years. Acknowledging the death of two Russian servicemen, they denied the claims about the destruction of the aircraft. Then photos of the damaged planes begin to emerge.
Russian newspaper Kommersant reported the death of Two Russian servicemen and the wounding of ten more at Hmeymim air base in the coastal province of Latakia, Syria on New Year’s Eve. Russian military officials acknowledged the casualties but denied media claims of seven destroyed aircraft, claiming them as “Fake”. According to Russia’s defense ministry,
“As darkness fell, the Hmeimim air base was subjected to sudden mortar shelling from a mobile group of militants.”
“As a result of the shelling, two servicemen were killed,”
However, the BBC and several other publications have run similar stories and pictures of damaged Russian aircraft have begun to emerge. According to the BBC, “A Russian military journalist has published photos of Russian warplanes which are believed to have been damaged by rebel shelling in Syria.”
The shelling, which purportedly destroyed four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35S fighters and one An-72 transport plane is the largest loss of Russian military equipment since 2015. It also came just hours after another statement was released earlier on Wednesday acknowledging the crashing of an MI-24 helicopter in Syria; which killed both pilots.
This all comes less then a month after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the same airfield and met with Syrian president Assad. Putin additionally announced that the Russian military would begin a drawdown of its troops in Syria – though it would keep its airbase and a naval base at Tartous on the Mediterranean.
The Russian military and media might want to get on the same page. Considering they’re both run by the same autocrat, it shouldn’t be that hard. While trying to cover up and misrepresent the loss of millions of dollars’ worth of expensive aircraft certainly isn’t beyond their ethical scruples of the Russian military or media, you would think they would at least get their stories straight. Maybe it isn’t that surprising, they are the ones who used a picture from a video game to show “proof” of the US’s support of ISIS…