Russia: Drones that attacked base in Syria came from rebel-aligned village

Roman Saponkov  VK

Roman Saponkov VK

The Pentagon has rejected Russian insinuations that US forces were involved in recent drone attacks against Russia's air base and its naval facility in western Syria.

Pilotless drones carrying explosives attacked Russian bases in Syria over the weekend without causing any casualties or damage, Russia's defence ministry said Monday. Three drones were sent to its Tartus naval base on the Syrian coast. Russia shot down 7 with anti-aircraft missiles and the other 6 crashed or were otherwise disabled, which Russian officials are now crediting to electronic counter-measures against the drones.

Each of them carried several explosive devices under their wings, and were guided from up to 100km away by Global Positioning System.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Syria and declared victory in the long fight against the Islamic State militant group.

"Although the programming of systems to control unmanned aerial vehicles and drop GPS-guided munitions requires completing engineering studies in a developed country".

Çavuşoğlu said that Russian Federation and Iran have no excuses for attacks by the regime, noting that violations can not happen without the support of the two countries. In December, Putin visited the Khmeimim base and said Russian Federation would start to wind its presence down because the war in Syria is essentially over.

Six days earlier, two Russian servicemen were killed in what was widely reported as a mortar attack on the Hmeimim base.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United Kingdom -based monitoring group, reported the Russian airstrikes and regime shelling left dozens of people dead and injured in both Idlib and Eastern Ghouta.

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"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. "So they are damned to a consensus", Malashenko, one of the leading Russian experts on the Middle East, told AFP.

"These people have no aid, no one to help them", he said.

Among the theories circulating widely is that disgruntled Alawites from Assad's own minority sect were responsible.

Russian Federation has given President Bashar al-Assad's government crucial support throughout Syria's civil war and has always been at odds with USA support of certain rebel groups in the Syrian civil war.

Alexei Malashenko, Research Director of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, said that Russia , Turkey and Iran all had different interests in the Syria conflict.

"Regime forces are striking moderate opposition with the pretext of fighting against Al-Nusra (Front)", Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency, referring to the former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

"There are so many theories", Suchkov said.

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