Russia's Defense Ministry said a Russian fighter jet crashed Thursday shortly after taking off from an air base in Syria, killing both of its pilots.
A ministry statement carried by Russian media said the Su-30 jet went down in the Mediterranean Sea after taking off from Hmeimim air base, located along the coast in northwestern Syria.
It further said the plane had not come under fire and that preliminary information suggested the cause of the crash could have been a bird being sucked into one of the plane's engines.
Russian forces joined Syria's war in September 2015 fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
Source: Voice of America