April 20 (UPI) -- A Russian military adviser was killed in Syria, according to a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry.
Maj. Sergey Bordov was killed when the Syrian army unit he was advising was attacked by "militants," the ministry said. It did not say whether the fighters were members of the Islamic State or one of the various factions fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a Russian ally.
"During the militants' attack, the Russian officer directed the actions of the Syrian soldiers, thus successfully preventing the terrorists from breaching the defenses and entering the camp," the ministry said in a statement. It added that "in the course of the fighting, the officer sustained fatal injuries."
The Russian and Syrian governments generally refer to all of the disparate groups fighting against Assad as "terrorists" whether they are affiliated with the Islamic State or not.
TASS reported the defense ministry disputed media reports two other Russian service members were killed in fighting in Syria.