MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The plane arrived in Syria on October 16 with over 20 metric tons of humanitarian cargo. It then picked up 56 people, including 38 Russian citizens, in the Syrian port city of Latakia and headed to Moscow, landing at the Domodedovo airport early on Saturday.
According to the Emergencies Ministry spokesperson, there are 10 children among the evacuees.
The flight to Syria faced difficulties, as Bulgaria refused to allow the Russian plane to fly through its air space, Deputy Director of International Cooperation Department of the Russian Emergencies Ministry Alexander Tomashov said.
"We had to cooperate with the Russian Foreign Ministry to urgently arrange a new flight route bypassing Bulgaria. This was done fairly quickly and with little delay the plane headed for Latakia," Tomashov explained.
Apart from Russian citizens, the plane brought eight Belarusian nationals, four Ukrainian citizens and two citizens of Syria to Moscow.
A US-led international coalition has been conducting airstrikes against IS militants in Syria since September, 2014.
Russia started launching precision airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria on September 30, 2015.
Russia has evacuated over 1,100 people, including Russian, Ukrainian and European nationals, from Syria amid ongoing violence in the country.