Russia Considering Course Change After New Challenges in Syria

Russia Considering Course Change After New Challenges in Syria
Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

MOSCOW — A Russian An-26 military transport plane crashed March 6 while approaching Khmeimim air base in Syria, killing everyone on board — six crew members and 33 passengers. A few hours after the catastrophe, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin the preliminary findings: The crash was believed to be caused either by pilot error or technical malfunction. The plane was built in 1980.

The incident — Russia's single-biggest military loss in Syria — claimed the lives of Russian Maj. Gen. Vladimir Yeremeyev, a colonel, six majors, two captains and 29 junior officers and sergeants.

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