TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Russian military repelled a massive drone attack on its bases in Syria, which was carried out by foreign-backed militants in the Arab country, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The militants launched their assault during the night on Saturday, the ministry said in a statement on Monday, according to RT.
The extremists may have been aided by a “technologically advanced state,” the statement said.
The Russian Hmeimim Airbase in the Syrian Latakia province was attacked by 10 unmanned combat aerial vehicles, while three more attempted a strike against the Russian maritime logistics base located in the city of Tartus.
All of the drones were detected by anti-aircraft defense systems “at a considerable distance from the Russian military objects,” the ministry said. Seven of them were then successfully shot down by the Russian Panzir-S air-defense system.
Russian radio electronic warfare specialists also managed to override the operating systems of six more drones, and eventually gained control over the UAVs. Three of them were destroyed when they hit the ground, while another three were landed intact outside the base controlled by the Russian forces.
The ministry also confirmed that the attack resulted in no casualties among Russian military personnel, and the two bases “continue to operate as normal.”
It was the “first time that terrorists massively used unmanned combat aerial vehicles of an aircraft type that were launched from a distance of more than 50 kilometers, and operated using GPS satellite navigation coordinates,” the ministry said in the statement.
The country's specialists are now examining the seized unmanned aircraft and the recovered data has already allowed the specialists to pinpoint the exact location from which the drones were launched. The examination also showed that advanced technologies were used in the drones’ construction.
They “could have been obtained only from a country possessing state-of-the-art technologies, including satellite navigation and remote control of … explosive devices (for) release at certain coordinates.”
It further added that detonators used in the militants’ Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were “of foreign manufacture.” These facts indicate that the extremists were supplied with technologies allowing them to carry out terrorist attacks using UAVs in any country, the ministry warned.
The incident comes about a week after the Hmeimim air base was subjected to mortar shelling on December 31, 2017, an attack that claimed lives of two military personnel.