The Russian Defense Ministry has announced that the group of militants that conducted a massive mortar attack targeting the Russian Hmeymim base in Syria on December 31 were eliminated in the course of a special operation.
"During the final stage of the operation, a group of Russian Special Operations Forces established the location of the subversive group of militants near the western border of the Idlib province. Upon the terrorists' arrival at the facility where they were preparing to board to a minibus, the entire sabotage group was destroyed by a Krasnopol high-precision artillery shell," the Russian military said in a statement.
According to the Defense Ministry, the operation involved all the forces and means of a multi-level system of Russian military intelligence in Syria.
Separately, Russian military intelligence units have discovered and destroyed a depot in the Idlib province controlled by so-called "moderate opposition" used to store strike drones used to attack two Russian bases in Syria on January 6, the ministry added.
"Russian military intelligence has uncovered the site where terrorists assembled and stored unmanned aircraft-type drones in the Idlib province. The depot was destroyed by high-precision artillery ammunition 'Krasnopol'."
The Russian base in Syria was targeted by two attacks in less than a week, as the Hmeymim base came under mortar shelling on December 31 killing two servicemen, and was later attacked by drones on January 6.
Earlier this week, the ministry said that the Russian military in Syria had 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. According to the Russian Defense Ministry's analysis of the drones, captured after attacks on the country's military bases in Syria, experts who created them acquired training abroad in drone-producing countries.
Commenting on the attack, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia knows who are the perpetrators of the "planned" attack he described as a provocation.