The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shoot down an armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the northern Lattakia countryside on March 15, according to the Russian news agency, Sputnik.
“Reconnaissance and surveillance units detected the drone while it was trying to approach the army’s positions in the hill of Abu Ali, it was targeted and shoot down with anti-aircraft machine guns,” a military source told Sputnik.
Photos of the downed drone show that it is identical to the type used in many attacks on the Russian Hmeimim airbase during last year. According to several reports, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, uses this type of UAVs.
Earlier this week, Russian warplanes destroyed several ammo depots belonging to the terrorist group around and inside the city of Idlib. The Ministry of Defense of Russia said that dozens of armed drones were stored inside the depots.
It remains unclear how the terrorist group with limited resources was able to design, manufacture and operate armed UAVs in such a large scale. Some experts believe that HTS is receiving direct help from foreign powers.