A Russian fighter jet based on an aircraft carrier currently near Syria's shores has crashed on a training mission - but the pilot bailed out safely, the Russian Defence Ministry said.
The ministry said the crash into the Mediterranean of the MiG-29K fighter would not affect the operations of the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier.
“The Russian aircraft carrier group is continuing its operations in the Mediterranean in accordance with plan,” it said in a statement.
“Flights of carrier-borne aircraft are continuing.”
The jet’s pilot was quickly rescued and suffered no injuries, the ministry added.
It said the jet crashed a few kilometres away from the carrier due to a technical problem while on its way to land, but did not elaborate.
The carrier and escorting ships arrived in the eastern Mediterranean Sea last week. Pilots of the carrier-borne fighters have been conducting flights over Syria to survey the area.
Nato has expressed concern about the Russian carrier group's deployment, saying the move could presage an increase in the number of Russian air raids in Syria - particularly around the besieged city of Aleppo.