Russia Defends Syria Bases From Wave of Drones Supplied By Foreign Country, Defense Ministry Says
More than a dozen drones attacked Russia’s navy bases alongside the western coast of Syria over the weekend, an assault that Moscow mentioned it found to have international fingerprints.
The Russian Defense Ministry mentioned Monday that unknown militants used 10 subtle, armed unmanned aerial automobiles (UAVs) to focus on the Hmeymim air base situated close to the Syrian metropolis of Latakia and three extra in opposition to the naval facility in Tartus. The plane was reportedly defeated earlier than inflicting any casualties or injury, however when Russian navy specialists examined the remote-controlled units they have been mentioned to have used expertise that might solely have been provided from one of a restricted quantity of international locations.
Related: How ISIS Got Weapons from the U.S. and Used Them to Take Iraq and Syria
“Engineering solutions used by terrorists when attacking Russian facilities in Syria could have been received only from a country with high technological potential on providing satellite navigation and distant control of firing competently assembled self-made explosive devices in [an] appointed place,” the ministry mentioned in a press release translated by the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.
The Russian Defense Ministry mentioned the assault might have come from greater than 62 miles away, marking the primary time Syrian rebel forces launched such a transfer from greater than 31 miles away. The ministry additionally identified that the UAVs have been “fitted with pressure transducers and altitude control servo-actuators” and “carried explosive devices with foreign detonating fuses.”
The assertion added that six of the units have been intercepted and brought beneath management by Russian digital warfare items and one other seven have been blasted by Pantsir anti-aircraft missiles.
The assault took place every week after a lethal New Year’s Eve mortar strike throughout which Russian newspaper Kommersant reported as much as seven plane have been destroyed and two personnel have been killed at Hemymim airbase, making it the one largest loss of since Russia launched its September 2015 intervention to assist Syrian President Bashar al-Assad overcome an rebellion by rebels and jihadis. Tass denied the destruction of the plane, however confirmed the demise of the servicemen, which appeared to happen the identical day as a helicopter crash killed two extra Russian navy personnel, based on Reuters.
While the Russian Defense Ministry didn’t specify which nation could have provided the expertise or units utilized in final weekend’s drone assault, Russia has routinely accused the U.S. of providing help to jihadis such because the Islamic State militant group and different organizations nonetheless combating to overthrow Assad regardless of him having recaptured most of the nation with help from Russia and Iran.
The U.S.-led coalition tasked with defeating ISIS has denied any collusion with militants or some other teams designated to be international terrorist organizations. The U.S. has criticized what it referred to as a Russian marketing campaign of misinformation designed to discredit Western pursuits in Syria. A report launched final month by the U.Ok.’s Conflict Armament Research, nonetheless, revealed that ISIS had acquired intensive weaponry and ammunition from teams backed instantly by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. has scaled again and principally minimize CIA help to rebels, who grew to become more and more consumed by Islamist forces, and has targeted on backing the Syrian Democratic Forces, a majority-Kurd alliance of Arabs and ethnic minorities.
Responding to an inquiry by Russia’s official RIA Novosti outlet, Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankin-Galloway mentioned Monday the drones used within the assault have been available in the marketplace and had beforehand been witnessed within the arms of ISIS fighters.
Yury Shvytkin, deputy chairman of the protection committee of Russia’s decrease home of parliament, instructed RIA Novosti that he personally believed ISIS was behind the assault with doable Western backing, whereas Kommersant mentioned its personal sources suspected Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, the Syrian affiliate of Al-Qaeda beforehand often called Nusra Front and Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, to be the offender. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.Ok.-based monitor with ties to the Syrian opposition, mentioned an Islamist militant faction working in northeast Latakia province was behind the assault.
Following the collapse of ISIS’s self-styled caliphate within the east, the Syrian navy has not too long ago launched an enormous marketing campaign to safe the ultimate insurgent stronghold of Idlib within the nation’s northwest. With help from Russian warplanes and pro-government militias, Syrian troops made speedy good points over the weekend and into Monday, taking quite a few villages in what was the one province left absolutely outdoors the federal government’s management.