Turkey urges Russia, Iran to stop Syria army offensive in Idlib


It was the first time terrorists had used such sophisticated technology in the conflict, the ministry said, adding that the technical assessment showed that the drone could have been obtained “only from a country possessing state-of-the-art technologies.”.

The Pentagon has rejected Russian insinuations that USA forces were involved in recent drone attacks against Russia's air base and its naval facility in western Syria.

It also pointed to a "strange coincidence" of a United States military intelligence plane flying near the 2 bases for at least 4 hours around the time of the attacks.

Tsarizm reported Sunday that Islamists attacked the facilities again over the weekend using drones.

Russian and Syrian bombing runs have increased in Idlib in the last week, resulting in the deaths of many civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights.

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.

Ankara summons the ambassadors of Russian Federation and Iran to complain about what it said was Syrian regime forces' violation of the borders of the Idlib de-escalation zone.

The rebel groups responded to the Russian escalation with attacks on Russian targets in Syria, including Khmeimim air base.

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The Pentagon said it is "concerned" about weapons falling into terrorists' hands after Moscow said the drones used in the attacks on Russian bases in Syria could have only been supplied by a "technologically advanced state".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported later that regime forces had "opened a loophole" that led them into the base, and were now working on expanding it.

Ten assault drones were approaching the Khmeimim air base, and another three - the CSS point in Tartus.

Putin faces a presidential election this March, and although he is expected to win easily, polls indicate that Russians are increasingly disgruntled about the country's military presence in Syria.

Two Russian military personnel died in a mortar attack against the Hemeimeem air base on December 31, the military announced last week.

ISIS has also recently retaken portions of Idlib, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's declaration of victory in Syria late a year ago. But the Russians have hinted that the technology used was too advanced for local militants, seen as a suggestion it could have been supplied by U.S. forces in the vicinity - something the Pentagon says is "absolutely false". The Russian Defense Ministry denied any of its aircraft were lost, but it acknowledged that two troops died in the shelling.

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.

Russian Federation said it was also controlled by Turkish armed forces.