MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The Russian Aerospace Force has destroyed a weapons depot belonging to the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terror group (also known as Jabhat al-Nusra, outlawed in Russia) in the Syrian province of Idlib, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
A pinpoint airstrike was carried out on March 13 in coordination with Turkey. The airstrike “targeted a weapons depot belonging to the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra) terror group in the city of Idlib,” the ministry said.
“According to information confirmed through several channels, militants earlier brought a large number of combat unmanned aerial vehicles to the facility, which they planned to use for attacks on Russia’s Hmeimim air base,” the statement adds.
A thing to note is that Russia’s military facilities in Syria have on numerous occasions been attacked with unmanned aerial vehicles.
On January 6, 2018, militants carried out a large-scale drone strike on the Hmeimim air base and a naval facility in Tartus. The Russian military either destroyed or took control of the UAVs used in the attack. A Defense Ministry source noted at the time that “the programming of systems to control unmanned aerial vehicles and drop GPS-guided munitions requires completing engineering studies in a developed country.”
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said, in turn, that the drones involved in the January 2018 attack on the Hmeimim base were run from a US Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft. When the drones were confronted by Russian jamming systems, they went to manual mode controlled from the US aircraft.