Russia announces to use drones in Syria as planned

MOSCOW: Russia’s military said Saturday it is continuing to use drones over Syria despite suspicions that one of its drones was downed by Turkey.


“I would … like to emphasise that Russian drones are continuing to monitor the situation in Syria’s skies,” spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

Turkey on Friday downed a drone that the US military suspects to be Russian close to the Syrian border, although Moscow swiftly said its drones were all intact.

The latest Russian strikes used data from a drone to put two tanks and three Islamic State infantry combat vehicles out of operation in Aleppo province, the Russian defence ministry said in a statement Saturday.

It said its latest strikes hit 49 targets, including a suicide bomber training camp.

Russia “carried out 36 sorties from the Hmeimim air base” to Hama, Idlib, Latakia, Damascus and Aleppo provinces, the ministry said.

That was almost the same number as on Friday, which saw 33 sorties, as Russia covers an offensive by the Syrian army on the ground.

The latest targets included a “terrorist training base” used to train “ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) fighters to carry out guerrilla warfare in areas liberated by the Syrian army and also suicide bombers” in Latakia province, the ministry said.

“As a result of a direct hit by an aerial bomb, the building was completely destroyed,” it added.

Russia said Friday that it has hit more than 456 IS group targets since launching its bombing campaign on Syria on September 30.