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Syrian air defense units confront ‘hostile’ targets

11 August 2018 13:10

Syria and Russia say their air defense units have in two separate incidents targeted objects breaching Syrian air space as pro-Damascus forces continue to maintain the upper hand over Takfiri terrorists on the battlefield.

Syria’s official SANA news agency reported early on Saturday that air defenses had managed to confront a “hostile target” over Dayr al-Ashayer, west of capital Damascus.

The report, however, did not specify the type of the target and its origin.

There were also no immediate reports of possible casualties or material damage.

The development comes at a time that the Syrian government, backed by its allies, namely Iran, Russia and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, has made sizeable gains on several fronts against the foreign-backed terror groups, many of which enjoy the support of Israel, the US and their allies.

Israel has recently increased its airstrikes on the Syrian territory in a bid generally considered to have been meant to prop up anti-Damascus militants. This comes as the Syrian army has been liberating most of the southern areas near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and has also been pressing ahead with counter-terrorism operations in the northwestern province of Idlib.

In an interview with Russia’s RT television network in May, President Bashr al-Assad hailed the capability of the Syrian air defense systems to foil enemy strikes.

“Our air defense is much stronger than before, thanks to the Russian support, and the recent attacks by the Israelis and by the Americans and British and French proved that we are in a better situation,” he said.

Russia downs militant drones

Separately on Friday, the head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria said that air defense units had shot down two militant drones, which were approaching Russia’s Hmeimim Air Base in Latakia Province.

The handout picture released on the Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency on June 27, 2017, shows President Bashar al-Assad being welcomed by a Russian soldier during a visit to the Hmeimim air base in Latakia Province, Syria. (Via AFP)

“Over the past 24 hours, the air defense units at the Hmeimim air base detected two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) launched from the territory controlled by illegal armed groups in the north of Latakia Province,” Major General Aleksey Tsygankov said. “Both aerial targets were destroyed at a safe distance from the base.”

He further noted that no casualties or material damage had been reported and that the air base was operating normally.

The Hmeimim airbase has been the target of regular militant drone attacks in the past few months.

Russian jets have been conducting air raids against Daesh and other terror outfits inside Syria since September 2015 at the request of Damascus.

The strikes have helped Syrian forces advance against terrorists, who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011.

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