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Reports of 31 drones attacking Russian facilities in Syria untrue, says defense official

13 combat fixed-wing drones participated in the attack on Russian military facilities, according to the source

MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. The allegations saying as many as 31 drones attacked Russian facilities in Syria in the small hours of January 6 are not true, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official said on Wednesday.

Earlier, some media quoted the coordinator of the Syrian and Russian parliaments’ friendship support group, Dmitry Sablin, as saying that 31 drones were involved in the attack on Russian military bases in Syria. The legislator said all of them were combat aircraft.

"Participating in the attack on Russian military facilities in Syria on January 5-6 were 13 combat fixed-wing drones. The militants used ten drones in the attempt to hit Hmeymim and another three against Tartus. Claims to the effect a far greater number of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) was involved have nothing to do with the reality," the source said.

He pointed out there were no reasons to keep secret or understate the number of drones that attacked Russian military facilities in Syria.

"All of the drones forced to land by our radio-electronic warfare means and the debris of the drones shot down have been collected and are being examined by the Russian Defense Ministry. In the near future we will show them and present our preliminary findings," the source said.

The official confirmed that the very instance militants possessed the knowhow to make drones, control them at a distance of tens of kilometers and issue commands to drop bombs on the basis of GPS coordinates should become a matter of great concern for the entire world community.

"In practice, further proliferation of the technologies and software which the militants used to control such UAVs in attacks against our facilities in Syria are extremely hard or impossible to control. Non-military facilities and civilian population in any country around the world may be under the threat of a real combat strike by terrorists armed with such drones," he said.

Attack on Russian military facilities in Syria

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that in the small hours of January 6 Russian military facilities at Hmeymim and Tartus came under an attack by terrorists-guided drones. All of the UAVs were either shot down or put under control by Russian military specialists. The Defense Ministry said the solutions employed by the militants could have been obtained only from an industrialized country. They warned of the risk of more such attacks in any other country around the world.

The ministry also said the drones that tried to attack Hmeymim and Tartus had been launched from the area of Muazzar, in the southwestern part of the de-escalation zone Idlib, held by the armed groups of the so-called moderate opposition.

In this connection the Russian Defense Ministry dispatched messages to the chief of the Turkish Armed Forces’ General Staff Hulusi Akar and chief of the National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan.

Four de-escalation zones were established in Syria in the middle of last September: in East Ghouta (a suburb of Damascus), in the south of the country, near Homs, and in Idlib province and some areas of neighboring provinces Aleppo, Latakia and Hama.