Assad offers condolences to Russia over military plane crash

Damascus, Dec 26 (IANS) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad offered his condolences to Russian Preasident Vladimir Putin over the victims of the Tu-154 plane, which crashed in the Black Sea on its way to Syria with 92 people on board.

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, Assad said “the news of the crashing of the plane, which was carrying dear friends who were on their way to Syria to share with Syrians their joy of the holidays and the victory in Aleppo, elicited great sadness”, Efe reports.

Assad also offered condolences to the victims’ families and stressed that Syria and Russia are partners in the fight against terrorism and that they share joys and sorrows.

The ill-fated plane took off from the Russian city of Sochi with nine journalists, military personnel, and musicians from the Alexandrov Ensemble on board.

The musicians were on their way to celebrate the upcoming New Year with air force personnel at the Khmeimim air base near Latakia in western Syria.