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Turkey Says Russia, Iran Should Stop Syrian Attacks In Idlib

12 January 2018

Explosives attached to drones used in an attack on Russian military bases in Syria.

Hof said Putin is trying to convince Russian voters that the conflict in Syria and the country's role in it are gradually declining, even as Russian jets increased their support for the Syrian government forces in recent days.

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

"Although the programming of systems to control unmanned aerial vehicles and drop GPS-guided munitions requires completing engineering studies in a developed country".

"The drones look to me like a DIY project, and decidedly low-tech", he said.

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Asked whether the announcement of a partial withdrawal could have been premature, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on January 9 that the Russian forces in Syria have "all the necessary means" to counter any challenge.

And on New Year's Eve, the air base came under mortar shelling for the first time since the start of the Russian campaign in Syria. At least some fighter jets in Russia's fleet also appear to have been damaged in the attack.

During a visit to the airbase on December 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory over "the most combat-capable worldwide terrorist group" - a reference to the extremist group Islamic State (IS) - and announced a partial withdrawal of Russian troops.

Russian Federation claims the drones used in the attacks had a range of about 30 to 60 miles and on Wednesday said they were launched from the village of Muwazarra, about 50 miles away from Hmeimim.

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 to sources at the foreign ministry.

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"They thought the base was secure, but now it seems it is vulnerable", he said. "We reject the Russian accusations completely", said Mohanned Issaf, 27, who lives in the village and was contacted over social media.

Most of the Islamic State drones used against U.S. allies, moreover, had a range of no more than 1-2km, according to an analysis by the defense consultancy IHS Markit group.

"What I am seeing here is the use of the presence of al Nusra and HTS as an excuse to attack civilians and moderate oppositions", Cavusoglu added.

There were no casualties or damage to the base, a statement issued by the ministry said.

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Turkey Says Russia, Iran Should Stop Syrian Attacks In Idlib