Russian military eliminates militants behind Syria air base attack
Iran Press TV
Fri Jan 12, 2018 05:13PM
Russia says its artillery units have wiped out a group of foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists, who lobbed a barrage of mortar shells at the Russia-run Hmeimim air base in Syria's western coastal province of Latakia late last year.
According to a statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry on Friday, Russian reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles tracked down the extremists "near the western border of Idlib province."
"When the terrorists arrived at the facility, where they were preparing to board a minibus, the whole subversive group was eliminated by a Krasnopol high-precision projectile," the statement pointed out.
The Russian Defense Ministry added that all manpower and materiel of Russia's multi-level military intelligence system in Syria had been involved in the operation.
A militant group shelled Hmeimim air base on December 31, killing two Russian military servicemen.
Terrorists' drone assembly facility destroyed in Idlib
Meanwhile, Russian military intelligence units have discovered and destroyed a depot in the northwestern province of Idlib, which Takfiri militants used to launch attacks against two Russian bases in Syria on January 6.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the depot had been destroyed by a 152mm cannon-launched and laser-guided Krasnopol explosive projectile.
Last weekend, foreign-backed militants launched a drone attack on Hmeimim air base and Russian naval base in Tartus, which was repelled by Russian military forces.
It was the first such an attack since Russia launched its campaign in Syria more than two years ago.
Hmeimim serves as Russia's permanent air base inside Syria and is adjacent to the Bassel al-Assad International Airport, with which it shares some airfield facilities.
Last year, Damascus and Moscow signed a treaty to lease the base to Russian military forces for 49 years, extendable for an additional 25 years.
Russia also plans to upgrade its naval base in Tartus, the second largest port city in Syria, where Moscow has been keeping a support and maintenance facility for its naval forces since 1977.
Military sources said expansion of the naval base, located some 86 kilometers south of Hmeimim, would enable bigger vessels to call at the military site. Moscow is reportedly considering deployment of S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems and Bastion coastal missile launchers there.
Moscow launched its campaign against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists and other militant groups in Syria upon a request from Damascus in September 2015. Its airstrikes have helped Syrian forces carry out effective counterterrorism operations against foreign-backed militants operating in the country since 2011.
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