Russia downs militant drone near Syria’s Hmeimim airbase
The Russian military has announced that its forces in Syria downed a drone flying near the airbase in the Syrian city of Hmeimim.
The RIA news agency reported Thursday that the drone, launched from territory controlled by Syrian militants, had been shut down after it targeted the airbase.
The airbase in the western Syrian province of Latakia has been hosting Russia’s military forces and equipment since the country launched an operation in late 2015 to help Syria’s fight against terror.
The Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation said in a statement that operations at Hmeimim were not interrupted and there were no casualties or material damage due to the incident. It added that the unmanned aerial vehicle had been intercepted at a safe distance from the base.
“On August 9, the air defense systems of the Hmeimim airbase detected an aerial drone launched from the territory controlled by illegal armed groups in the north of Latakia province,” read the statement.
There have been similar incidents in the past involving Russia’s attack on drones from militant-controlled areas in northern Syria. The Russian Air Force destroyed one such drone last month and said it was flying in skies to the north of Latakia. Russian airspace control units also detected and downed drones of unknown origin in June, May and in April in the northeast of Hmeimim.
Russia is in Syria at the official request of the government in Damascus. Despite criticism from Western countries, the military presence has proven successful as it has helped the Syrian government retake many areas across the country from the grip of militants.
Russian authorities have announced that they will continue to be present in Syria until the Arab country is fully purged of terrorists.