Russian-operated L-39 attack aircraft crashes in Mali: video

Footage has emerged of what is, reportedly, the wreckage of a Malian L-39C Albatros aircraft which crashed while fighting Islamic State in the African country. 

Little is known about the circumstances of the incident and whether the light combat and training aircraft was shot down or crashed as a result of a technical malfunction. It is reported that the two pilots, both Russian nationals, died as a result of the crash. 

The incident took place in the region of Gao, in the northeast of the country, where fighting has long been going on between Islamists and government forces.  

Although flown in support of Malian governmental forces, the L-39 aircraft was, in fact operated by Russian military contractors.  

Russia has been expanding its presence and influence in the country since a coup in 2021 brought to power in Mali a new military government that has ended cooperation with France and other Western countries. 

The Malian Air Force operates a number of L-39 Albatros aircraft supplied by Russia, which has also provided helicopters and other military equipment.  

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