Kremlin: Russian personnel on board helicopter downed in Syria are dead

Men inspect the wreckage of a Russian helicopter that had been shot down in the north of Syria's rebel-held Idlib province, Syria August 1, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Monday said that Russian military personnel on board a helicopter shot down in Syria on Monday were dead, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

The helicopter, with five people on board, was shot down in Idlib Province, Russian news agencies quoted the Defense Ministry as saying.

They died a “heroic death” on a humanitarian mission, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters. He said the helicopter had tried to veer away from inhabited areas to avoid civilian deaths.

Peskov also said that Moscow would continue fighting international terrorism “on all fronts” despite threats from Islamic State.

On Sunday, Islamic State posted a nine-minute video message on YouTube, calling on its members to carry out jihad or holy war in Russia.

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn