The Ministry of Defense of Russia said on March 13 that the recent airstrikes on the Syrian city of Idlib had prevented Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) from launching a drone attack on the Russian Hmeimim airbase. The airstrikes reportedly destroyed several ammo depots of the terrorist group, where armed drones were being stored.
“According to information, that was verified through many channels, the terrorists had transported a large batch of armed unnamed aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the ammo depots … The terrorists planned to use them in an aerial attack on the Hmeimim airbase,” the Russian MoD said in its statement, according to RT.
The defense ministry confirmed that all the airstrikes on Idlib were coordinated with Turkey. The two countries reached an agreement to de-escalate the situation in Idlib last September.
HTS, which is the former official branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, attacked Hmeimim airbase with dozed of DIY suicide drones last year. The Russian Aerospace Forces managed to put an end to these attacks within a few months.
The Russian airstrikes targeted the center of the city of Idlib and an area southeast of it. Syrian opposition sources said that one of the airstrikes hit HTS’ main prisons, which allowed hundreds of detainees to flee.
The upcoming days will likely witness similar operations, as the HTS leadership is apparently still determined to sabotage the Russian-Turkish de-escalation agreement.
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