Russian helicopter makes emergency landing in Syria - Defence Ministry

AMMAN/MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian Mi-35 helicopter made an emergency landing due to technical problems during a flight over Syria’s northern Hasaka province, state agencies quoted Russia’s Defence Ministry as saying on Sunday.

“The crew was quickly evacuated to the airfield. There is no threat to lives of the pilots,” the RIA news agency cited a Defence Ministry statement as saying.

The helicopter was not fired at, it said.

Syrian state media said earlier there were reports a pilot was killed in a Russian helicopter crash in Hasaka province, near Tal Tamr. That is close to a Russian base where Moscow conducts joint patrols under a Turkish-Russian deal in 2019 that has allowed Moscow to expand its influence in the area.

Russia is the Syrian government’s most powerful ally and helped it turn the tables in the country’s civil war by retaking much of the country from rebels since 2015.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by David Clarke and Frances Kerry