Moscow says Syrian rebels' drone attacks on Russian facilities got satellite ‘assistance‘
Military sources have informed the newspaper Kommersant that the Syrian rebel group Ahrar al-Sham is responsible for using drones to attack Russia’s Khmeimim airfield and Tartus naval facility on January 6. The group has reportedly used drones before against Syrian Army field engineers in Homs. Russian forces apparently intercepted and decrypted data from the dones that confirms Ahrar al-Sham’s involvement.
On January 6, thirteen drones equipped with homemade bombs attacked Russia’s Syrian airfield and naval facility. The unmanned aerial vehicles were launched from somewhere within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of the bases and none of them hit their targets. Russian soldiers managed to capture three of the drones.
Defense officials later implied that the United States had provided the satellite navigation necessary for the attack.
On December 31, the Khmeimim airfield sustained a mortar attack that killed two soldiers and reportedly damaged several aircraft. Moscow says drones were used to coordinate the attack.