Russian news media is reporting that Syrian militants fired 36 rockets at Russia’s Khmeimim airbase in two attacks on Monday with the shelling coming from the Idlib de-escalation zone.
But they say both attacks were repelled by the air defenses with no damage dealt, the Russian military said, adding that jets launched strikes in response.
They report the shelling came from the Idlib de-escalation zone, they say controlled by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front), the head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin, said.
It’s reported the militants used a drone to direct their fire, but the attacks were repelled by Khmeimim’s air defense systems.
Russian warplanes and Syrian artillery then flattened the positions from which the rockets were launched, Kupchishin added.
News of an attack on the Russians Syrian air base has happened before, when at the end of 2017 it was reported that their air base had suffered one of its worst attacks during Russia’s entire military campaign in Syria.
Reports then said that Russian military personnel were killed and aircraft damaged with operations at the military airport disrupted.
It will be interesting to see how Russia’s attitude may change toward the de-escalation agreement with Turkey around the Syrian city of Idlib. It is a large Syrian city nearby the Russian airbase that also has within it numerous militant and jihadi groups.
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