Russia Accuses US of Supporting Syrian Drone Attack on Their Syria Bases


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Saturday's attacks on the Hmeymim and Tartus bases by 13 drones were thwarted - with seven shot down and six forced to land.

Russian Federation said that a recent drone attack against its military base in Syria would not have been possible without assistance from a country possessing satellite navigation technology.

The massive drone attack on Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Syria was a risky precedent, which demonstrated a new method of carrying out terrorist attacks, Sergey Denisentsev, an expert at the Center for Nuclear Research believes.

Confirming it was the first instance of a mass drone attack launched from more than 50km away, the estimates are that the drones took off from a location of about 100km away from the bases.

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.

Unusually, no faction in Syria had claimed responsibility for the drone or mortar attacks.

Idlib province is nearly entirely controlled by anti-government forces that are dominated by an outfit known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) consisting mostly of former fighters from the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said warplanes attacked several suburbs of Damascus, including Saqba, where a man and a child were killed and 13 others were wounded.

Putin faces a presidential election this March, and although he is expected to win easily, polls indicate that Russians are increasingly disgruntled about the country's military presence in Syria.

After two years of Russian military support for the Assad government, Putin announced in mid-December the partial withdrawal of forces from the country, saying their task had been largely completed.

The Russian bases did not suffer any causalities or damage, according to Moscow's ministry of defense. "But now they might bomb more after these false accusations".

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

"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".

As pro-government forces pressed the assault, the Russian defence ministry's newspaper said Moscow had asked the Turkish military to tighten control over armed groups in Idlib. The coastal Hmeimim airbase is at the core of Russia's war effort in Syria.

The presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran met in Sochi on November 22 to discuss the impact of the Astana peace talks and any changes to the de-escalation zones across Syria.

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