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3 Russian soldiers killed in Syria

Russian soldiers march through Moscow's Red Square, Monday, May 9, 2005, during a parade commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II. (White House photo by Eric Draper/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The Russian military says three of its servicemen have been killed in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on March 25 that the three soldiers were killed when militants ambushed their vehicle in late February in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor.

The ministry said Russian forces tracked down a group of more than 30 militants involved in the ambush and “destroyed” them. It did not say when the raid took place.

It brings the number of Russian soldiers killed in Syria to 115, according to official data.

The biggest number of casualties came in March 2018, when a Russian transport plane crashed at Syria’s Hmeimim airbase, killing all 39 people on board.

Russia has conducted a bombing campaign in Syria since September 2015, helping reverse the course of the country’s nearly eight-year civil war in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s favor.

Syrian rebel groups and militant outfits still control parts of northwestern and southwestern Syria, while a Kurdish-led alliance backed by the United States holds most of the northeast.