The Russian Defence Ministry said on Monday that one of its helicopters had been shot down in Idlib Province in Syria with five people on board, the Interfax news agency reported.
The ministry was quoted as saying that three crew members and two officers had been on board and that it was trying to ascertain their fate.
It was cited as saying that the helicopter, an Mi-8 military transport helicopter, had been shot down after delivering humanitarian aid to the city of Aleppo as it made its way back to Russia’s main air base in Syria.
Images shared on social media purportedly showed a dead body and Russian identity documents taken from the crashed helicopter.
The pro-opposition television news outlet Orient News said rebels had shot down a Russian military helicopter, and that the pilot had died.
Russian forces are supporting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s five-year-old civil war.