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Casualties reported as militants attack Russian air base in Syria’s Latakia

The Russian Defense Ministry says foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants have shelled the outskirts of the strategic Hmeimim air base in Syria's western coastal province of Latakia, injuring a number of people.

“On August 5 at around 2:30 p.m. Moscow time (1130 GMT), airspace control equipment at the Hmeimim airbase detected the launch of three rockets in the direction of the Russian air base coming from the north,” the ministry said in a statement released on Monday.

The statement noted that the barrage did not hit the airbase, and that the military site is continuing its operations as normal.

“The projectiles, instead, slammed into a nearby civilian village. According to Syrian security bodies, the militant shells fell on Ruaisaid Afif, resulting in injuries to four local residents," the ministry pointed out.

Earlier, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that terrorists had targeted the air base, saying that shells which fell in the vicinity of the base caused "considerable losses in lives and material damage."

Russia has foiled several missile attacks by militants on the Hmeimim air base. 

Back on May 23, the Russian Defense Ministry said its surface-to-air missile systems had managed to foil an attack by foreign-backed militants on the air base. 

The ministry announced in a statement that militants positioned in the de-escalation zone of Syria's northwestern province of Idlib had launched four missiles at the strategic base.

The statement added that Russian air defense systems destroyed all the projectiles before they could strike the site.

The development came only a day after foreign-backed militants fired a barrage of missiles at the same Russian military site.

The Russian Defense Ministry stated that eight rockets launched by the extremists failed to reach the Hmeimim air base, while another nine were shot down by Russian air defense systems.

Russia has been helping Syrian forces in ongoing battles across the conflict-plagued Arab country.

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

Syrian army finds militant tunnel network in Hama

Separately, Syrian forces have found a long network of tunnels once used by Takfiri terrorists during a clean-up operation in the country’s western province of Hama.

This picture, provided by Syria’s official news agency SANA, shows a tunnel discovered by Syrian military forces in rural areas on the outskirts of Hasraya village in the country’s western province of Hama on August 5, 2019.

SANA reported that army soldiers made the discovery in rural areas on the outskirts of Hasraya village.

Extremists apparently used the tunnels to transport and store ammunition and food, and launch attacks on nearby areas.

SANA added that the tunnels had been dug using equipment made in Turkey, noting that munitions and shells of various types were recovered from them.

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