Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has sent a telegram of condolences to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the crash of a Russian transport plane during the landing at the Hmeimim air base in Syria on Tuesday.
On behalf of the Armenian people and himself, President Sarkisian asked Putin “to convey deep condolences and sympathy to the victims’ relatives”, the presidential press office said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said earlier today that 33 passengers and six crew members died on board the An-26 plane in the crash near the coastal city of Latakia. All of them were Russian military personnel, it added.
Ministry officials said the crash was “most likely caused by a technical fault,” adding that there were no indications the plane came under fire.
“There was no attack on the aircraft reported at the site,” Russian news agencies quoted officials as saying.
Russia’s Investigative Committee announced it had opened a criminal case into the crash, saying investigators would look into suggestions that flight-safety rules had been flouted.