MOSCOW — Four Russian servicemen were killed and two were wounded in Syria last week when their car was blown up by a remote-controlled bomb, the Russian news agency Interfax reported on Monday, citing a statement by the Defense Ministry in Moscow.
The servicemen, identified by the ministry as military advisers, were accompanying a Syrian Army convoy near the Tiyas air base in central Syria to the city of Homs on Thursday when they were hit by the roadside bomb. It was the largest loss of life for Russia since it intervened in the Syrian civil war.
“As a result of the blast, four servicemen have died and two were wounded,” Interfax cited the statement as saying. “Military doctors are fighting to save their lives.”
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Russia intervened decisively in the Syrian civil war in the fall of 2015, with the stated purpose of providing air support to prop up the beleaguered forces of President Bashar al-Assad and to fight terrorism. With the Russian help, Mr. Assad has been able to regain large stretches of territory that had been lost to rebels and to militants from the extremist Sunni group the Islamic State.
Counting last week’s blast, 27 Russians have been killed in combat in Syria, according to official statistics, which Kremlin critics say understates the true figure. One of the victims, Vadim Magamurov, 31, was buried in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on Monday, the Russian business daily Kommersant reported.