MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Terrorists fired 17 rockets from the Idlib area at Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria, with eight of them falling short and the other nine destroyed by the alert air defense force, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.
"On May 22, terrorists made 17 launches from multiple rocket systems from the Idlib de-escalation zone at Russia’s Hmeymim airbase. Eight rockets fired by the terrorists fell short of the airbase. The terrorists’ remaining nine rockets were destroyed by the Russian airbase’s alert air defense force," the statement says.
Since the evening of May 21, militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist grouping outlawed in Russia) have been launching massive attacks in the southern portion of the Idlib de-escalation zone on the government troops’ positions, using the armor, multiple launch rocket systems and suicide bombers’ vehicles.
In accordance with a decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey - the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire - four de-escalation zones were set up in Syria in May 2017. They include the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces, Eastern Ghouta, as well as some areas in the Daraa and al-Quneitra Provinces in southern Syria. Damascus took control of three zones in 2014, but the fourth zone, covering the Idlib province and certain parts of the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces, is still controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra.
On May 18, Syrian government forces unilaterally ceased fire in the area but militants continue to attack their positions.