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Russian Federation says militants used drones to attack its bases in Syria -agencies

Russian Federation says militants used drones to attack its bases in Syria -agencies

"...It is a unusual coincidence that during a UAV attack on the Russian military facilities in Syria, a US Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft was cruising for more than four hours over the Mediterranean Sea at an altitude of 7,000 meters", a source within the Russian Defense Ministry said, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

Russian forces in Syria have come under attack by a swarm of apparently crudely made drones.

Read the whole story from Radio Free Europe. But the Russians have hinted that the technology used was too advanced for local militants, seen as a suggestion it could have been supplied by U.S. forces in the vicinity - something the Pentagon says is "absolutely false".

In the most recent and unusual of the attacks, more than a dozen armed drones descended from an unknown location in the early hours of Saturday morning onto Russia's vast Khmeimim air base in northwestern Latakia province, the headquarters of Russia's military operations in Syria. 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.

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.

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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.

Russian Federation claims the drones used in the attacks had a range of about 30 to 60 miles and on Wednesday said they were launched from the village of Muwazarra, about 50 miles away from Hmeimim. It was also further noted that detonators used in the explosive attached to the drones were of foreign manufacture.

And perhaps the Kremlin really does believe the US military was behind the attacks, which would be a very serious situation indeed.

The Defense Ministry posted photographs of one of the drones on its Facebook page, showing what looked like a homemade model aircraft that did not seem particularly sophisticated.

Without blaming any specific country, the ministry claimed data for the attacks could only have been obtained "from one of the countries that possesses know-how in satellite navigation". The aerial support was later extended to targets in Idlib, where the regime is pushing against several militant groups.