The ministry commented on a report circulated by independent Russian news outlet RBC alleging that the base was hit by "a successful drone attack" on January 1.
"All facts in the article titled 'Mortar Attack on Hmeymim Base Turns Out to Be a Drone Attack' are incorrect — starting with the date and the time of the alleged attack and finishing with the type of the attack and its outcome. We would like to emphasize that on January 1, 2018, the airbase operated in a regular regime. There were no shelling, raids or other incidents," the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry noted that the author of the report "had repeatedly published false information or speculations about the activities of the Russian Defense Ministry, trying, for reliability, to attribute her own conclusions to military experts."
Overnight on January 6, militants in Syria conducted a massive attack against Russian military facilities, including the Tartus Naval base and Hmeimin airbase, with the use of unmanned aerial objects. The attack was confirmed by the Ministry of Defense.
According to the ministry, it was established that the launch of the drones was carried out from the area of the Muazar settlement located in the southwestern part of Idlib de-escalation zone controlled by the armed formations of the so-called 'moderate' opposition. The country's forces had taken control over six out of 13 drones, seven others were destroyed.
Russia has been conducting the military operation in Syria since 2015 at the request of the Syrian government. In December 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Daesh in Syria had been completely destroyed. Following the terror group's defeat, Russian President Putin proclaimed "victory over terrorists" and ordered the partial withdrawal of Russian forces from the Syrian territory.
Currently, two Russian bases: in Tartus and Hmeymim, as well as the center for Syrian reconciliation are operating in the country.