Turkey summons United States envoy over Syrian issue

Pat Wise
January 12, 2018

The ministry said its forces repelled a series of drone attacks Saturday on the Hemeimeem air base and a naval facility in Tartus.

The Islamic State has often used armed drones against US-allied forces in eastern Syria and Iraq without "significant impact" he said, adding that small drones are readily available commercially.

The US Navy's Boeing P-8 Poseidon was on a patrol mission in the area between the Russian Hmeimim airbase and Tartus naval base in Syria when militants attempted to attack the facilities using 13 drones, the ministry revealed today.

Syrian peace talks in the past have continuously stalled, mainly because of disagreements over Assad's role in the country's political transition. Currently, the Russian military experts are analyzing the construction, technical filling and improvised explosives of the captured UAVs.

In its latest announcement, the Ministry of Defense said the drone attack had occurred overnight last Friday.

"The drones look to me like a DIY project, and decidedly low-tech", he said.

The attack also came less than a week after two Russian servicemen were killed during a mortar assault on the base. At least some fighter jets in Russia's fleet also appear to have been damaged in the attack.

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"Russia's military intervention in Syria and its repeated use of the veto at the United Nations Security Council makes Russian Federation a party to the conflict", The Guardian quoted the group as saying.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in Syria last month and ordered a partial troops pullout.

Jennifer Cafarella, senior intelligence planner at the US-based Institute for the Study of War, told The Washington Post the attacks raised questions over Russia's claims the Syrian war was essentially finished. This was stated by the Russian Defense Ministry, FOCUS reported quoting TASS. "We have exerted so many efforts and we can not waste them".

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's family belong to to Alawite branch of Islam, who mostly reside in Latakia province. "The drones were launched from the area of Muazzara in the south-western part of the Idlib de-escalation area controlled by so-called "moderate opposition" units", Russian Federation defence ministry newspaper said.

There were no casualties or damage to the base, a statement issued by the ministry said.

The group said the base was targeted by drones belonging to an "Islamist faction" operating in the area.

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