On August 9, the Russian Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria announced that Russian forces shot down an armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near Hmeimim airbase in the western Syrian governorate of Lattakia.
“The anti-aircraft systems eliminated the air target at a considerable distance from the air base. No casualties or material damage was caused. The Hmeimim Air Base functions as planned,” the Russian center for reconciliation said in an official statement.
Usually, Russian forces use the Pantsir-S1 medium-range surface-to-air air defense systems to intercept UAVs. The Russian-made system has a range of up to 20km and it is considered very cost-effective.
Over the last two months, Russian forces shot down dozens of locally made armed UAVs over Hmeimim airbase. According to the head of the Russian reconciliation center, Major General Alexei Tsygankov, these UAVs are usually launched from the militants-held areas in Idlib and Lattakia.
These attempts to attack Hmeimim airbase are considered a violation of the de-escalation agreement in northern Syria. The agreement allows the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Russian Aerospace Forces to respond militarily to these violations.