MOSCOW, March 12 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian emergencies ministry’s plane left Syria on Tuesday with over 100 people from Russia and former Soviet republics, who decided to leave the country amid the ongoing conflict, a spokeswoman for the ministry said.
“An Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft took off from the Latakia airport at 18:40 Moscow time [2:40 p.m. GMT] with 103 people on board, including 39 children, with nine newborns out of them,” spokeswoman Irina Rossius said.
The plane, which initially brought to Syria humanitarian aid last week, returns to the Domodevo airport in Moscow with 76 Russians, 10 Ukrainians, six Belarusians, four Kazakhs, six Moldovans and one Uzbek national, she added.
Russia closed its Consulate General in the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo in January, but the Russian embassy in Damascus remains open to date.
About 70,000 people have died in Syria since the start of the uprising against President Assad in March 2011, according to UN figures.