22:03 GMT07 August 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Militants in Syria have attempted to launch a drone attack on the Khmeimim airbase, although the unmanned flying vehicles were shot down by air defence systems, Rear Admiral Alexander Shcherbitsky, the head of the Russian Defence Ministry's centre for Syrian reconciliation, said on Sunday.

    “Illegal armed groups in the Idlib de-escalation zone continue to make attempts at attacking Russia’s Khmeimim airbase using drones. On 11 July at around 22:30 [19:30 GMT], Russian air defence systems identified drones that were approaching the Khmeimim airbase from the northeast. Two drones that were being used by militants were destroyed at a distance of five kilomeres [3.1 miles] from the airbase”, Shcherbitsky said.

    No casualties or material damage were reported following the incident, the head of the centre for Syrian reconciliation said.

    The airbase has long been a target of terrorist groups that operate in the region, although Russian air defence systems have consistently been able to shoot down hostile drones.

    At the request of the Syrian government, Moscow has been assisting local troops to regain control over the militant-held swaths of Idlib province in the country's north, with Russian servicemen based at the naval facility in the city of Tartus and the Hmeimim airbase.

    Tags:
    Hmeimim air base, Russia, Syria
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