Thirteen low-tech armed drones attacked two Russian bases in western Syria on Saturday. Russian military forces identified the launch location from where the attacks began, but the identity of the attackers is not known.
Russia claims that the attackers are a Syrian rebel group supported by Turkey.
Ten drones rigged with explosive devices descended over Russia’s Hmeimim air base while a further three targeted the Russian Naval CSS point in the nearby city of Tartus, according to the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.
Russia said it shot down seven drones using anti-aircraft missiles while the other six were taken under control and landed by its military. Three of the drones survived the landing and the Russian defense ministry has posted images of them on its Facebook page.
The drones appear to have assembled from a small engine, cheap plywood and a number of small rockets.
Muwazarra is designated a “de-escalation zone” under a deal between Russia, Turkey and Iran. It has been an area of conflict between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebel forces backed by Turkey.
It isn’t surprising that the Russians immediately blamed Turkey for the attack. The Turkish government has been critical of both Russia and Iran for not following the joint accord in Idlib province. It just appears to be too convenient for the Turks to be blamed here. It will be interesting to see how this comes to light if it ever does.
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Photo courtesy Russian Ministry of Defense