UPDATE: On January 4, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed mortar attack by “a mobile militant subversive group” on Khmeimim air base and the death of 2 military servicemen, but denied any equipment damage.
The Russian daily Kommersant reported on January 3 that Russia’s Khmeimim air base was shelled by militants on December 31. According to Kommersant, four Su-24 attack aircraft, two Su-35S multi-role fighters and one An-72 transport aircraft were destroyed as a result of the shelling. The daily added that 9 service members may received injures.
The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented the report yet.
However, the ministry said in a statement that on the same day a Russian Mi-24 helicopter crashed due to a technical fault near the Syrian Hama military airfield. Both pilots died. The engineer got injuries and the rescue team sent him to Khmeimim, where he received necessary assistance. The statement denied that the helicopter had come under fire.