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Syria Group Wants To Trade Bodies Of Five Russian Helicopter Crew Members

A Syrian group said on August 4 that it has the bodies of five people killed when a Russian helicopter was shot down and is demanding the release of prisoners in exchange for the bodies.

The Russian military helicopter was shot down in opposition-held territory in Syria’s Idlib Province on August 1, killing all five people onboard.

It was the biggest officially acknowledged loss of life for Russian forces since they started operations in Syria in September 2015.

The demand for the exchange was signed off by a group calling itself the General Foundation for Prisoners' Affairs.

It wanted the release of prisoners held in Syrian government jails and by Damascus's Lebanese Shi'ite ally Hizballah in Lebanon.

The group did not name the prisoners it wanted to be released or say how many it wanted.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP