17:08 Nov. 4, 2016
IS militants destroyed Russian assault helicopter Mi-35 – the second one of this kind in four months
The Islamic State declared Thursday evening downing a Russian helicopter in Homs eastern countryside, without giving details about the fate of the pilot and the crew, Orient News reports.
IS-linked media outlet 'Amaq' agency said that the organization was able to destroy a Russian top notch multi-purpose combat helicopter near the Syrian village Howeisis area in Homs eastern countryside after targeting it with a guided missile, located northwest of Palmyra city.
Later 'Amaq' released a dramatic footage of an explosion of Russian Mi-35, South Front reports. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Mi-35 was ‘delivering a humanitarian aid' in the area when it was downed because of a technical failure. ISIS militants shelled the landing site with mortars and ‘damaged the helicopter'. The incident took place on November 3.
South Front also states, that Mi-35 was also hit with an anti-tank guided missile. Video shows that the Mi-35 was blown up as result of the shelling.
As reported, the Mi-35's crew (2 men) survived the incident and returned safely to the Russian Khmeimim Airbase in the province of Latakia. The second helicopter that could be observed in the video was a search and rescue mission that had appeared on the scene to take the crew of downed Mi-35 helicopter. Also GAZ ‘Tigr' and KamAZ BMP-97 ‘Vystrel' Russian armored vehicles seen on the site.
It is the second Mi-35 already lost by Putin's army in Syria. In the evening of July 8 2016, 'Amaq' reported that a Russian helicopter was shot down during an IS attack on Palmyra. Several hours later, the Russian Ministry of Defense's press service issued a statement denying the loss of the attack helicopter.
On July 9, Russian media outlet Lenta.ru reported citing own sources that a Russian Mi-35 was indeed shot down, killing two Russian servicemen. After the pilots' names were reported, the authorities issued another statement, confirming the deaths of two Russian soldiers but denying it was a Russian helicopter.
In the evening of July 9, IS posted a video of the Russian-crewed helicopter falling.
Conflict Intelligence Team experts identified it as a Mi-35M ‘Hind-E', which is in service in Russian army only. Moreover, they stated copter was shot down by ‘friendly fire' with the trailing helicopter's unguided rocket.
Few weeks later Russian Mi-8 multi-purpose helicopter was downed in Syria.