In the afternoon of January 27, Russian forces launched at least three surface-to-air missiles at an unidentified aerial object near the Hmeimim airbase in the western governorate of Lattakia.
According to local sources, the air-to-surface missiles shot down several unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs), which were heading towards the Russian airbase. However, this is yet to be confirmed by any official source in Russia or Syria.
Last year, racial militants in the opposition-held areas in northwestern Syria sent more than 50 armed UAVs to attack Hmeimim airbase. The vast majority of these drones were shot down before they were able to reach their target.
If confirmed, this will be the second UAV attack on Hmeimim airbase since September 17, when Russia and Turkey reached a demilitarized zone agreement. On November 28 a single drone was shot down near the airbase.
The Russian Aerospace Forces usually respond to these attacks by carrying out pinpoint airstrikes on ammo depots and workshops of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which is ruling the opposition-held pocket in northwestern Syria.