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Russian military repels attack by militant drones in Syria: Moscow

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A general view shows Russian fighter jets on the tarmac at the Hmeimim military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria, on February 16, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Russia says its troops have successfully repelled multiple drone attacks launched by militants on its naval and air bases in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced the news on Monday, saying the aerial aggression was conducted by as many as 13 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) on Saturday night.

According to the ministry report, 10 combat dones raided the Hmeimim Airbase in Syria's western coastal province of Latakia while three more attempted a strike against the Russian maritime logistics base located in the western city of Tartus, Syria’s second largest port city.

All of the drones were spotted by anti-aircraft defense systems “at a considerable distance from the Russian military objects,” the ministry said, adding that seven of them were successfully shot down by the Russian Panzir-S air-defense system.

The report further said that Russian radio electronic warfare specialists also managed to override the operating systems of six more UAVs, and ultimately wrested control over them. It added that three of these drones were destroyed as they hit the ground, while the remaining three were landed intact in the vicinity of the Russian-run base.

At the end, the ministry confirmed that the aerial raids inflicted no casualties among Russian military personnel and the two military compounds “continue to operate as normal.”   

Russia has been conducting air raids against terrorist outfits in Syria at the Damascus government’s request since September 2015. Moscow has also maintained a naval group in the Mediterranean since the start of its anti-terror campaign in the war-ravaged Arab country.

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