Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Drones from US used in attack on Russian air bases

BREAKING: Drones used in attack on Russia’s bases “could only be shipped from US”
Russian Defence Ministry claims US reconnaissance aircraft detected patrolling Mediterranean during drone attack

9 Januar8 2014

The Russian news agency Interfax is reporting that a so far unnamed member of Russia’s Federation Council – the upper house of Russia’s parliament – has said that the thirteen drones which on Saturday attempted unsuccessfully to attack Russia’s two Syrian bases in Khmeimim and Tartus could only have been shipped from the US.

Note that this does not outright say that the US supplied the drones to the Jihadis who carried out the attack, though it comes very close.

The Interfax report of the statement about the US origin of the drones by the member of Russia’s Federation Council is dated 16:31 hours Moscow time.  At 16:50 hours Moscow time  – ie. just 20 minutes later – Interfax reported the Russian Ministry of Defence saying that at the time of the drone attack on Russia’s Syrian bases a US reconnaissance plane was spotted flying over the Mediterranean.

The Interfax report does not actually say that the US aircraft was flying in the vicinity of the two bases, but the implication is that it was, and the timing of the two Interfax reports – separated from each other by just 20 minutes – suggests that the timing of the statements of the member of Russia’s Federation Council and of the Russian Ministry of Defence has been coordinated.

The usually well-informed Lebanese news agency Al-Masdar has previously reported that the drone attack on the two Russian bases in Syria was carried out by ISIS, presumably operating from its remaining holdout areas in Idlib province.

The US for its part is saying that the technology used in the drone attacks is commercially available, and it is important to say that even if a US reconnaissance aircraft was indeed flying close to the Russian bases at the time of the attack, this may be no more than a coincidence.  It is after all hardly unusual for US reconnaissance aircraft to be flying in the vicinity of Russian bases.

However all the indications are that a major row between the US and Russia is brewing, with the Russians coming very close to saying that the US had a hand in the attack, and perhaps saying it outright over the next few hours or days.

We shall keep you informed as more information appears.

US spy plane circled between Russian airbase & port facility during Syria drone attack – MoD

US spy plane circled between Russian airbase & port facility during Syria drone attack – MoD

8 January, 2014

Moscow has noted “strange coincidences” surrounding a terrorist attack on a Russian airbase and port facility in Syria, in which guided combat drones were deployed by militants. These include a US spy plane spotted in the area.

The Russian Ministry of Defense consciously didn’t point any fingers when talking about the January 6 attack on Russia’s airbase and port facility in Syria, the Tuesday statement said, but added that technology used in the attack was telling.

Advanced training in engineering in “one of the developed countries” would be necessary to program the principal controllers and bomb-release systems of an aircraft-type combat drone, the statement stressed. “Not everyone is also able to get exact [attack] coordinates from the space surveillance data,” it dded.

The Khmeimim airbase in Syria © Sputnik

The ministry noted that a US Navy Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft was flying over the region between the Russian bases in Latakia and Tartus for some four hours around the time of the drone attack. An earlier Pentagon statement allowed the Russian military to “take a new look at some strange coincidences” surrounding the incident, it said.

The Saturday attack targeted both Khmeimim Airbase and the maritime logistics facility in the city of Tartus, and involved as many as 13 combat drones. The assault was successfully repelled by the Russian anti-aircraft defense systems and electronic warfare specialists.

© Russian Defence Ministry / Ruptly

It was the first time terrorists had used such sophisticated technology in the conflict, the ministry said, adding that the technical assessment showed that the drone could have been obtained “only from a country possessing state-of-the-art technologies.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the US said it was “concerned” over the incident. Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankin-Galloway, however, claimed that “those devices and technologies can easily be obtained in the open market.” He later also told Sputnik that the US already saw what it called “this type of commercial UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] technology” being used in Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) missions.

Russia has repeatedly warned that US military supplies aimed at supporting “moderate” Syrian militants eventually end up in the hands of terrorists.

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