Russian military cargo plane crashes in Syria, killing 39

A Vietnamese air force aircraft An-26 is seen at a base in Ho Chi Minh City.A Russian military cargo plane has crashed as it was descending to land at an air base in Syria, killing all 39 people onboard, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

The Russian military said an An-26, with 33 passengers and six crew members onboard, crashed just 500 metres from the runway.

The military blamed the crash on a technical error and insisted that the plane was not shot down.

All of the people on board were Russian servicemen, the ministry said.

Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, leases the Hemeimeem military base in Syria, near the Mediterranean coast.

The base is far from the frontlines of the conflict, but came under shelling in December.

via Russian military cargo plane crashes in Syria, killing 39 – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)