Russian Federation says militants used drones to attack its bases in Syria -agencies

Steve Phelps
January 13, 2018

It added Russian forces fended off the attacks without receiving any damage.

Tsarizm has been reporting on attacks on Russian facilities since the New Year on the country's permanent facilities in Syria, the port at Tartus and the airbase near Latakia, Hmeimim. The militants used ten drones in the attempt to hit Hmeymim and another three against Tartus.

"All of the drones forced to land by our radio-electronic warfare means and the debris of the drones shot down have been collected and are being examined by the Russian Defense Ministry".

Each of them carried several explosive devices under their wings, and were guided from up to 100km away by Global Positioning System. But the Russians have hinted that the technology used was too advanced for local militants, seen as a suggestion it could have been supplied by USA forces in the vicinity - something the Pentagon says is "absolutely false".

There were no casualties or damage to the base, a statement issued by the ministry said.

On Tuesday, Turkey's foreign ministry summoned the Russian and Iranian ambassadors to Ankara, according to diplomatic sources, after saying the Syrian regime was targeting moderate opposition forces in Idlib near the Turkish border. The aerial support was later extended to targets in Idlib, where the regime is pushing against several militant groups.

Explosives attached to drones used in an attack on Russian military bases in Syria.

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One of the drones captured by the Russian military.

In a televised visit last month to the Hemeimeem air base where he declared victory over the Islamic State group, Putin praised the "excellent" performance of the Russian troops in Syria and he also ordered a partial withdrawal of the forces. "In this regard, I have decided that a significant part of the Russian military contingent in the Syrian Arab Republic is returning home to Russia". "He used chemical weapons twice against his own population, and the Russians are left as the ones backing this fairly odious regime that has become the face of barbarity to the world", Colin P. Clarke, a researcher on terrorism and insurgency at the Rand Corporation, a global policy think tank, told VOA.

Without blaming any specific country, the ministry claimed data for the attacks could only have been obtained "from one of the countries that possesses know-how in satellite navigation". It was at least the second time he had made such an announcement since March 2016.

It also said it was "outraged" by the ongoing siege in Eastern Ghouta, another rebel-held area, where the United Nations human rights chief said on Wednesday that at least 85 civilians have been killed since December 31.

Russian Federation said it was also controlled by Turkish armed forces.

The Attacks harm efforts aimed at reaching a political solution, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu had said earlier in the day.

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