A Russian fighter jet has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during a training mission near the Syrian shores, Russia’s Defense Ministry says.
The Russian ministry said in an official statement that the incident occurred when the MiG-29K fighter was attempting to land on the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov off the coast of Syria on Monday.
The ministry said the fighter jet crashed due to a "technical fault" a few kilometers from the carrier during a training flight, adding that the pilot survived after ejecting safely.
“The pilot catapulted was delivered to the air carrier Admiral Kuznetsov by a rescue crew. The pilot was not hurt, and is ready for future missions,” the statement said.
The flagship aircraft carrier leads a fleet positioned in the eastern Mediterranean, which has been conducting reconnaissance missions over Syria since mid-October.
Russia has been engaged in an anti-terror campaign through conducting airstrikes against the positions of terrorists in Syria since September 30, 2015, at the request of the government in Damascus.
According to analysts, the campaign has largely been successful in helping Syrian government forces dislodge foreign-sponsored militants from many regions across the country.
Backed by Russia’s aerial campaign, the Syrian troops have retaken several militant-held areas in the Arab country.
The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which started in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, according to an estimate by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.