'Swarm of armed drones': Who is attacking Russia's military bases?

Cheryl Sanders
January 12, 2018

Russian forces have foiled a drone attack on an airbase in Syria.

Turkey called on Russian Federation and Iran on Wednesday to pressure Syrian authorities to halt a military offensive in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province, which Damascus launched despite an worldwide deal to reduce hostilities there.

The Khmeimim base, the heart of Russia's military operations in Syria, is deep in Syrian-government-held territory and until now had seemed immune to attack, said Maxim Suchkov of the Russian International Affairs Council, who also writes for the publication Al-Monitor.

"According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it was established that the launch of the drones was carried out from the area of the Muazar settlement located in the southwestern part of Idlib de-escalation zone controlled by the armed formations of the so-called "moderate" opposition", the statement said.

The Russian Ministry of Defense had previously insinuated the United States had helped.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "is extremely unpopular".

Eric Pahon, a spokesperson for the US Department of Defense, told The Independent: "Any suggestion the US, the coalition or our partnered forces played a role in an attack on a Russian base is without any basis in fact and utterly irresponsible".

In a statement published to its Facebook page, the Russian Ministry of Defence said that its security systems surrounding the Syrian air base of Khmeimim and the naval port in the city of Tartus successfully repelled 13 "unidentified small-size air targets" in what it called a terrorist attack on 5 January.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, third left, visits the Hemeimeem air base in Syria, Saturday, June 18, 2016.

"Iran and Russian Federation should fulfil their responsibility". "There's a lot of fishy stuff going on in Idlib - agents running around, and groups working with groups they shouldn't work with", Lund said.

Most of the Islamic State drones used against USA allies, moreover, had a range of no more than 1-2km, according to an analysis by the defense consultancy IHS Markit group.

A Turkish government official says Turkey has summoned the ambassadors of Russian Federation and Iran to complain about recent Syrian government advances.

The drone attack on the Russian assets in Syria also raised tensions between Russia and Turkey.

Turkey, Russia and Iran have taken the lead in Syria peace efforts over the past year.

Cavusoglu repeated Turkey's red line over its presence in Sochi by saying that: "We have said we will not be in any environment. where the YPG is present".

Other reports by iNewsToday