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Russia says Syria base attacked by ‘sophisticated’ drones

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 drone used during an attack on Russia's Hmeimim air base in Syria was displayed at a briefing in the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow, Jan. 11, 2018. (Photo by AP)

Russia says drones used to attack its Hmeimim airbase in Syria are too sophisticated to have been assembled by terrorists and that experts believe terrorists use foreign help to launch the raids which have increased.

Russia’s  Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said Thursday that drones downed by Hmeimim air defense assets appeared primitive but had a range of 100 kilometers and used advanced technologies.

The drones, equipped with explosive devices, navigation gadgets and control systems, could not have been assembled by militants "without any outside help", he said.

Experts who have analyzed the downed UAVs have reached the conclusion that the assembling work is based on “a clear instruction developed by specialists”, Konashenkov said.

Terrorists, he said, have also launched the attacks based on a clear line of expert directions. 

According to Konashenkov, Russian air defense assets have over the past month successfully downed 45 drones during attacks on the Hmeimim airbase located in Syria’s Latakia.

The attacks were launched by Idlib-based militants and the number of such attacks has recently increased.

The Hmeimim airbase is the hub of Russian operations in the Arab country and the largest base in Syria run by foreign troops.

Idlib, a governorate on the Turkish border, is one of the last strongholds still held by foreign-backed militants in Syria. 

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