Drone attack on Russian bases launched from Turkish controlled area
Drone attack on Russian bases launched from Turkish controlled area by Alexander Mercouris – The Duran
Russia’s Defence Ministry says drone attack launched from Turkish controlled area
The Russian Ministry of Defence has now released more information on the drone attack on Russia’s two Syrian bases at Khmeimim and Tartus on Saturday 6th January 2018.
Yesterday reports from Russia spoke of the drone attack using US sourced technology and of the attack coinciding with the presence of a US Poseidon surveillance aircraft close to the bases.
Today Russia’s Ministry of Defence says is saying that the drone attack was launched from a Turkish controlled area in the heart of a so-called ‘de-escalation zone’ in north west Syria’s Idlib province.
The report in the Ministry of Defence’s newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (“Red Star”) reads in part as follows
It has been established that the drones were launched from the area of Muazzara in the southwestern part of the Idlib de-escalation area controlled by the so-called ‘moderate opposition’ units.
Therefore, the Russian Defense Ministry sent letters to Chief of the Turkish General Staff Chief Gen. Hulusi Akar and Chief of the National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan.
Those documents declared the need for Ankara’s implementation of its commitment to ensure the ceasefire by the controlled armed units and step up the deployment of observation posts in the Idlib de-escalation area for the purpose of preventing similar drone attacks on any facilities
Note that these comments fall well short of accusing Turkey of direct complicity in the attack.
The attack was however by Jihadi standards highly sophisticated, involving the use of 13 drones, and would have required not just a secure launch area but secure data links and an operations room from which to control the drones and plan the attack.
The drones themselves would also have had to be manufactured and assembled and transported to the launch site, assuming of course that they were not manufactured and assembled there.
Though the drones themselves were primitive by the standards of advanced militaries (see caption picture) they did incorporate elements of modern technology. Here is what Krasnaya Zvezda has to say about them
All the drones used by the terrorists were equipped with barometric sensors and servo-drives for controlling the elevator wheels. In addition the improvised explosive devices the terrorists attached to drones had fuses of foreign manufacture.
Krasnaya Zvezda also reports that the drones used modern GPS based guidance systems of a sort never used by a terrorist organisation or militia before.
Whilst the operations room which planned and presumably supervised the attack would not need to be in the same area as the launch site, the fact that such a complex attack was launched from there suggests that the Jihadis present in the area were confident that the Turkish military would leave them undisturbed.
Of possibly even greater concern for the Russians than the drone strike on 6th January 2018 was the mortar attack on Khmeimim air base on 3rd January 2018.