Russian Federation admits airbase came under attack from 13 armed drones


The development comes one day after the Russian Ministry of Defense implied that the USA had helped coordinate the drone attacks on Hmeimim air base and Tartus naval facility.

Russian Defense Ministry officials say that the drones could've only been prepared by a country with advanced satellite navigation capabilities, and a none-too-subtle suggestion that this may have been the United States. The Pentagon's statement now allows the Russian military to "take a new look at some unusual coincidences" surrounding the incident, it said.

Of the ones that were hijacked by Russia's military, three were landed outside of the base and subsequently examined and decoded, which helped to reveal information on its launch site.

The attacks also raise questions about the sustainability of Russia's gains in Syria, said Jennifer Cafarella of the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War.

"With the excuse of al-Nusra, the regime is targeting the moderate opposition".

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The rebel groups responded to the Russian escalation with attacks on Russian targets in Syria, including Khmeimim air base.

Putin's pledge to withdraw Russian troops after the alleged defeat of IS in Syria came as the Russian military augmented its operations in support of the Syrian government forces, consolidating their control over rebel enclaves in the country. "We have exerted so many efforts and we can not waste them".

The fact of usage of strike aircraft-type drones by terrorists is the evidence that militants have received technologies to carry out terrorist attacks using such UAVs in any country.

Muwazarra has been on the front line of the war between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad since the earliest days of the war, when the region quickly came under the control of US -allied moderate rebels with the Syrian Revolutionary Forces.

He also called on Russian Federation and Iran, the two main allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, to halt their air strikes on rebel-held parts of Idlib Province near the border with Turkey.

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They say the declaration by Putin could be aimed at the domestic audience in Russian Federation, as he is bidding for another presidential run in the country's upcoming elections in March.

Cavusoglu emphasised that in efforts to bring peace to Syria, Russia and Iran were the "guarantors" of the regime side and Turkey of the opposition.

"Iran and Russian Federation need to carry out their responsibilities".

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Russian Federation and Iran must fulfill their duties under a joint accord reached with Turkey a year ago in which the three countries announced a "de-escalation zone" in Idlib.

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