Air defence systems at Russia's Khmeimim base in Syria have thwarted an attack by what is suspected to have been a drone launched by militants, Syrian TV reported on Sunday.
The Russian Defence Ministryconfirmed later that air defence forces of the Khmeimim base detected and destroyed on Sunday six terrorist combat drones, which were approaching the facility.
"On August 11, at about 8:10 p.m. Moscow time [17:10 GMT], the air defence systems of the Russian airbase Khmeimim detected six unmanned aerial vehicles, which were approaching the airfield from the north-west," the ministry said in a statement, adding that all six drones had been destroyed and the base was operating in a normal mode.
On Thursday, Syrian militants fired four rockets from a multiple-launch rocket system in the direction of Russia's Khmeimim airbase. At least two local residents were killed and four more injured in the settlement hit by the militant rocket attack.
Earlier the same week, terrorists carried out an artillery strike against the airbase, injuring four civilians.
The airbase has come under numerous attacks over the years, with terrorists attempting to shell it using multiple launch rocket systems and coordinated assaults using drones.
Last year, the Russian defence ministry accused a US Poseidon 8 surveillance aircraft of coordinating a drone attack on the airbase after it was revealed that the plane was operating over the Mediterranean Sea at the same time that Khmeimim airbase defences fended off an attack by 13 combat drones. The US has denied the claims, calling them "utterly irresponsible." US spy planes have been repeatedly spotted operating in the area in the months since.
The Khmeimim airbase has been the home base of Russian forces deployed in Syria ever since Russia began its anti-terrorist operation in the country in September 2015. The base is guarded by a multi-layered joint Russian and Syrian air defence network.