On July 15, Russian forces foiled another attempt to attack the Hmeimim airbase in the western Syrian province of Lattakia with armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). According to local sources, Russian air defense systems shot down several UAVs over the base.
Usually, Russian forces use the Pantsir-S1 medium-range surface-to-air air defense systems to intercept UAVs. The Russian-made system intercepted dozens of armed UAVs since the beginning of this year.
These armed UAVs are usually launched from the de-escalation zone in the northern governorate of Idlib. Local observers believe that radical militants of the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are behind these attacks.
Since the beginning of this month, the militants stepped up their attacks on Hmeimim airbase in what appears to be a desperate attempt to deter the Russian Aerospace Forces. These violation of the de-escalation zone may force the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies to resume their operations in Idlib soon.