Military plane crash kills 39

A Russian military cargo plane crashed near an air base in Syria on Tuesday, killing all 39 Russian servicemen on board in a blow to Russian operations in Syria. The Russian military quickly insisted the plane was not shot down and blamed the crash on a technical error.

Meanwhile, shelling near the rebel-held eastern suburbs of Damascus killed dozens of people over the past 24 hours as President Bashar Assad's government, supported by the Russian military, pushed its assault on the capital's rebel-held suburbs. 

A humanitarian mission on Monday to the area known as eastern Ghouta was cut short by government shelling.

Opposition activists and a war monitor said 80 people were killed Monday — the deadliest day since the U.N. Security Council demanded a 30-day cease-fire for Syria — and at least nine were killed Tuesday.

"People were telling us very desperate stories. They are tired, they are angry. They don't want aid, what they want is the shelling to stop," Pawel Krzysiek, head of communications for the Syrian branch of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said Tuesday.

Monday's aid shipment was the first to enter eastern Ghouta amid weeks of a crippling siege and a government assault that has killed some 800 civilians since Feb. 18. 

The U.N. said airstrikes and shelling in eastern Ghouta continued for hours while the convoy was unloading supplies.

"After nearly nine hours inside, the decision was made to leave for security reasons and to avoid jeopardizing the safety of humanitarian teams on the ground," said Jens Laerke, deputy spokesperson for the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. As a result, 14 of the 46 trucks in the convoy were not able to fully offload critical humanitarian supplies.

The opposition's Syrian Civil Defence search-and-rescue group reported at least nine people were killed in airstrikes on the town of Jisreen. The group, also known as the White Helmets, said two of its volunteers, and 28 others, suffered difficulties breathing following shelling on the town of Hammouriyeh on Monday evening. It accused the government of using "poison gas." The Observatory reported 18 people suffered breathing difficulties, without attributing a cause.

It was the eighth allegation of chlorine gas use reported by the Syrian American Medical Society this year.

The Russian Defence Ministry said Tuesday's crash of the An-26 military cargo plane occurred 500 metres from the runway of Syria's Hemeimeem military base. It said the plane did not come under fire, adding it would conduct a full investigation.

More World News

London Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
Recent Trending
Okanagan Oldies
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada