France anxious by Syrian army offensive in Idlib, wants Astana deal respected

Elias Hubbard
January 13, 2018

The Russian military earlier stated that despite their crude appearance, preparing an attack with such aircraft required specialist skills, which the perpetrators may have received from a foreign party.

Ten descended on the air base, three on the naval base.

A U.S. intelligence aircraft flew in the area between Khmeimim and Tartus during the attack on the Russian base in Khmeimim. Currently, the Russian military experts are analyzing the construction, technical filling and improvised explosives of the captured UAVs.

Russian Federation has repeatedly warned that United States military supplies aimed at supporting “moderate” Syrian militants eventually end up in the hands of terrorists.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported later that regime forces had "opened a loophole" that led them into the base, and were now working on expanding it.

President Vladimir Putin last month ordered the withdrawal of most Russian troops from Syria.

'We are considering an option to create groups to test experimental equipment to fight UAVs within our units, ' he said. SANA said 15 shells struck the central, predominantly Christian neighborhood of Bab Touma.

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Idlib province is nearly entirely controlled by anti-government forces that are dominated by a jihadist outfit known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) consisting mostly of former fighters from the Al-Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate. At the time, Russian media reported the attacks were easily repulsed by Russian air defense and the unmanned aerial vehicles were primitive.

The statement comes days after Moscow announced that two Russian servicemen were killed in a mortar attack by Islamist militants at the Hmeimim air base on New Year's Eve.

Ankara has supported the anti-Assad opposition throughout the nearly seven-year Syrian civil war while Russian Federation and Iran have backed President Bashar al-Assad.

The government offensive around Idlib has forced thousands of civilians to flee toward the border with Turkey.

Cavusoglu said 95 percent of the violations in Idlib were carried out by the government and groups backing the government.

Mark Lowcock's visit is the first by the head of the U.N.'s humanitarian agency since December 2015. Lowcock is expected to meet government officials and visit the central city of Homs during his three-day visit.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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