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Russian military repels drone attack by militants on air base in Syria’s Latakia

A Russian Pantsir-S1 air defense system is seen at Hmeimim air base in Syria’s Latakia province. (Undated photo by Sputnik)

The Russian military has successfully foiled a drone attack launched by terrorist groups against its permanent air base in Syria’s western coastal province of Latakia, from where Russian fighter jets carry out airstrikes against Takfiri Daesh terrorists and other foreign-sponsored militants in the war-torn Arab country.

In a statement released late on Saturday, the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria announced the news, saying the Hmeimim air base's defenses in the evening shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launched from militant-held areas to the north of Latakia.

“The aerial target was destroyed at a significant distance from the base” by anti-aircraft fire in a routine manner, said the statement, adding that there were no injuries or material damage.

The statement further said that the process of dispatching combat drones toward the air base from the militant-held areas was ongoing. The majority of combat drones launched by militants against the base were shot down thanks to the Russian Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft weapon system, it added.

The Hmeimim air base has recently been a frequent target of drone attacks, with at least three similar incidents occurring this month alone. The largest assault on the Russian airfield was conducted in January and involved at least ten drones simultaneously targeting the base.

Russia has been helping Syrian forces in an ongoing battle in the province of Dayr al-Zawr as Daesh struggles to keep its last positions in eastern Syria.

The Russian military assistance, which began in September 2015 at the official request of the Syrian government, has proved effective as the Syrians continue to recapture key areas from Daesh and other terrorist groups across the country.

Syrian army liberates 8 towns, villages in Yarmouk

Additionally on Saturday, Syria's official news agency SANA, citing an unnamed military official, reported that eight more villages and towns in al-Yarmouk basin area had been liberated following intensified anti-terror operations by the Syrian Arab Army units in the far northwestern countryside of Dara’a province.

The source told SANA on Saturday that the army units established control over the villages and towns of Saisoun, al-Awam, Jumla, Ein Hamata, Abu Reqa, Abu Kherj, al-Nafi’a, and Sadd al-Nafi’a.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

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