Turkey summons Russia, Iran envoys over Syria

Roman Saponkov  VK

Roman Saponkov VK

The comments come after Russia's Defense Ministry noted in a statement the "strange coincidence" of a USA military intelligence plane flying over the Mediterranean near the Hmeimim air base and Tartus naval facility at the moment of the attacks.

09 de enero de 2018, 12:35Moscow, Jan 9 (Prernsa Latina) The Russian military in Syria has disrupted a massive attack with the use of battle drones on its facilities in the country on January 6, intercepting six and shooting down seven more UAVs launched by militants.

Russian Federation has reportedly ramped up its defences at the Latakia airbase since the attack.

In December, Putin visited the Khmeimim base and said Russian Federation would start to wind its presence down because the war in Syria is essentially over.

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Dmitry Sablin, a lawmaker who coordinates parliamentary links with Syria, told the Interfax news agency the attack was even bigger than the Russian military acknowledged, involving 31 drones. "The drones were launched from the area of Muazzara in the south-western part of the Idlib de-escalation area controlled by so-called "moderate opposition" units", Russian Federation defence ministry newspaper said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said warplanes attacked several suburbs of Damascus, including Saqba, where a man and a child were killed and 13 others were wounded.

Putin said on December 28 that more than 48,000 Russian military personnel had served in the operation in Syria, and that Russia's presence at Hmeimim and Tartus would be "permanent".

If the report is accurate, the Russian forces are lucky the attack wasn't worse, because whoever unleashed these drones wasn't fooling around.

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The Russian Ministry of Defence said on Monday its military was able to capture three of the "small-sized air targets of unknown identity".

It conveyed "uneasiness" to the Russian ambassador Tuesday, calling the strikes a "violation of the borders of the Idlib de-escalation zone" established by Turkey, Iran and Russia, according sources at the foreign ministry. "But now they might bomb more after these false accusations".

The Russian defence ministry's newspaper said on Wednesday the drones had been launched from the south-western part of theIdlib de-escalation zone held by "moderate opposition" armed groups.

Ankara has supported the anti-Assad opposition throughout the nearly seven-year Syrian civil war while Russian Federation and Iran have backed President Bashar al-Assad. "This merely emphasizes the need for stepping up political settlement efforts", the spokesperson said.

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Another claim made in Syrian opposition news outlets is that an Iranian-backed militia fighting on behalf of the regime and located in the government-controlled hills nearby, was responsible. Under an understanding reached between Russia, Turkey and Iran a year ago, Turkey is supposed to be responsible for restraining the opposition in Idlib and Russia and Iran is responsible with preventing the regime from carrying out attacks.

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