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Terrorists plan kamikaze drone attack on Hmeimim base in western Syria: Russian defense ministry

This file picture shows Russian military aircraft and troops at the Hmeimim airbase near Syria's western coastal city of Latakia. (Photo by the Russian Defense Ministry)

The Russian Defense Ministry says foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants are planning to launch an attack against the country’s strategic Hmeimim air base in the western Syrian coastal province of Latakia by means of kamikaze drones.

Deputy Chief of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria Major General Oleg Yegorov said on Friday that the center had received information that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists together with members of the militant group Turkistan Islamic Party are plotting an aerial assault on the base with the use of combat unmanned aerial vehicles as well as suicide drones.

He added that the extremists have assembled and equipped a large number of drones, with an operational range of 70 kilometers, at workshops close to Khirbat al-Jawz town in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib.

Russia has been providing Syrian forces with crucial military assistance in the ongoing battles across the conflict-plagued Arab country. 

The Russian 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 remnants of the Daesh terrorist group and other foreign-backed terrorist factions.

Syrian army forces expel US military convoy from Hasakah village

Meanwhile, Syrian government troops have blocked a US military convoy as it was attempting to pass through a community in the northeastern province of Hasakah.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that Syrian army troops, deployed at a security checkpoint near Umm al-Khair village in the Tal Tamer subdistrict, intercepted the convoy of six armored vehicles on Friday.

The American troops were subsequently forced to turn around and go back in the direction they came from. There were no reports of clashes or injuries.

The US military has for long stationed its forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.

Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country’s natural resources. Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil wealth.

On September 21, China called on the United States to stop plundering Syria’s national resources and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Arab country.

“We call on the United States to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, unilaterally lift sanctions, and end the theft of Syria’s national resources,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news briefing.

Wang said, “This is not the first time that the United States military has stolen oil from Syria and they seem to be becoming more and more uncontrollable.”

The Chinese spokesman also said the US government has a duty to investigate robberies committed by intervening military forces, as well as to compensate for the damages caused.

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