Drones Attacking Russian Bases in Syria Launched from Idlib De-Escalation Zone

MOSCOW-  Combat UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) attacking Russian military facilities in Syrian Hmeymim and Tartus overnight into January 6 were launched from the de-escalation zone in Idlib, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

"The drones were launched from Muazzara settlement located in the southwestern part of Idlib de-escalation zone controlled by the armed forces of the so-called moderate opposition," the ministry said in a commentary published in the Red Star newspaper on Wednesday, according to Itar Tass.

 In this respect, the ministry has submitted letters to Turkey’s Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan. "The documents stress that it is necessary for Ankara to meet assumed obligations to ensure ceasefire by controlled armed forces and intensify efforts to put observation points in the de-escalation zone in Idlib for preventing such UAV attacks on any targets," the commentary said.

Earlier reports said that Russian military forces repelled a militant attack on Hmeymim and Tartus bases in Syria with the use of 13 combat UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) overnight into January 6. Seven UAVs were eliminated by assigned artillery systems Pantsir-S1 of Russian air defense units and six UAVs were intercepted, the ministry said. The decisions made by militants related to the attack could have been received from a country with high technological potential, the ministry said and warned that similar attacks could be carried out in any country.

In accordance with a decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey - the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire - in May 2017, de-escalation zones were set up in Syria. In mid-September, the guarantor countries announced the establishment of four such zones.

De-escalation zones include the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo Provinces north of the city of Homs, Eastern Ghouta, as well as the Daraa and al-Quneitra Provinces in southern Syria.