Russian plane disappears during flight to Syria

UPDATED: Russian military plane disappears 20 minutes after takeoff.

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 08:53

Moshe Shai, Flash 90

A Russian Tu-154 aircraft with 91 passengers and crew members on board disappeared on Sunday morning while en route from Russia's western city of Sochi to Syria's Latakia province.

The plane, which disappeared from radar 20 minutes after takeoff during its flight over Russian waters, is reported to have been transporting a military band for a Christmas concert for Russian soldiers at the Latakia air base in Syria.

Russia has not yet issued an official response to the reports of disappearance.

The province of Latakia is an important strategic base for Russian activity in Syria. Latakia is the main port of Syria and control of the city gives Russia much-needed access to the Mediterranean Sea.

UPDATE: The missing Russian plane is reported to have crashed over the Black Sea. Russia is still searching for the exact location of the crash.