Russian Helicopter Crashes, A Russian Mi-28 attack helicopter crashed in Syria near Homs, killing two Russian servicemen. Russian officials said the cause of the crash is being investigated but that the helicopter was not shot down. The helicopter is part of a new deployment of advanced military hardware that Russia has sent to its bases in Syria, despite a drawdown announced last month.
The Assad regime will hold parliamentary elections beginning tomorrow, ahead of the resumption of peace talks. Opposition groups have dismissed the elections as illegitimate. “I don’t know how they can really announce an election in Syria. In Idlib or in Aleppo or in Deir al-Zor or in Homs, can people go there and vote?” an opposition spokesman said. Over the weekend, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaki said the regime is preparing an offensive to retake rebel-held neighborhoods of Aleppo, a move that would collapse the partial ceasefire.