A Russian Mi-35 attack helicopter on a patrol mission in Syria’s Al-Hasakah governorate made an emergency landing Sunday after it suffered a technical failure.
"The aerial patrol mission was not fully completed. During the mission, a Mi-35 made an emergency landing due to technical failures," Vyacheslav Sytnik, deputy chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, said on Sunday.
The helicopter did not come under fire and the pilots are safe, as per local media reports. It is not clear where exactly in Al-Hasakah governorate the helicopter suffered the failure.
The Russian helicopter’s “patrol” mission in north-eastern corner of Syria comes less than a week after U.S. F-15E fighters bombed facilities allegedly belonging to Iran-backed militias in the eastern region. The bombings took place in Abu Kamal (Al Bukamal) close to the Syria-Iraq border, about 270km from Al-Hasakah province’s capital city, Al-Hasakah.
The U.S. airstrikes were in retaliation to Iran’s alleged attacks on Erbil (Irbil) and Green Zone in Iraq in the recent weeks. Erbil is located ~310km away from Al-Hasakah city.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.S. informed Russia just minutes before the airstrikes were carried out. “Our military was warned 4 or 5 minutes in advance. Of course, even if we talk about de-conflict, as is customary in relations between Russian and American servicemen, this does not give anything," he told the press-conference in Moscow.
He further accused the U.S. for staying in Syria “illegally” and “violating all international norms,” including those by U.N. Security Council.
Earlier, Maria Zakharova, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, said the country “strongly condemns” the airstrikes.