- Screenshot/YouTube via Russian MoD
- The Russian Ministry of Defense claims to have killed the terrorists that attacked their bases in Syria.
- The Russian MoD also claimed to have taken out a depot where UAVs were assembled and destroyed.
- The Russian MoD also released videos of the supposed strikes.
The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed on Friday to have killed the “terrorists” that mortared its Hmeymim air base in Syria on December 31, which killed two airmen and reportedly destroyed 7 jets.
“During the final stage of the operation a Russian Special Operations unit located the base camp of the militant saboteur group near the western border of Idlib province,” the MoD said, according to RT. “As the terrorists arrived at the location, the entire group was eliminated with a high-precision ‘Krasnopol’ weapon as they were about to board a minibus.”
The defense ministry released a video of the strike:
Russia has also now claimed a victory following a swarm of drone attacks last week that targeted Hmeymim air base and Tartus Naval Facility overnight on January 5 and January 6. Moscow claimed to have successfully repelled the attack.
The MoD claimed on Friday to have struck a depot in Idlib province where drones were assembled and stored with the same Krasnopol projectile.
“The Russian military reconnaissance has uncovered a terrorist fixed-wing drone assembly and storage place in the province of Idlib. The depot has been destroyed by the Krasnopol precision artillery munition,” the defense ministry said, according to TASS.
The defense ministry also released a video of the Krasnopol strike on the UAV depot:
Russia offers confusing explanation for drone attacks
While the videos could easily be authentic, Russia has been known to release fake videos. In November, Russia released a video supposedly showing US troops helping ISIS fighters, but in fact was a video game.
Russia has repeatedly insinuated that the rebels who carried out the drone attack on its military bases in Syria had help from the US, Turkey, and even Ukraine.
Moscow has claimed that the drones, which were made of wood, tape and lawn mower engines, were too sophisticated and operated from too far a distance to have been executed by themselves.
Business Insider spoke with several experts who all said that the drones could have been easily constructed and operated by the rebels.
“I could literally turn 10 drones on right now in a field by myself and tell them to fly to a specific coordinate,” Brett Velicovich, a leading expert in drones and author of “Drone Warrior,” previously told Business Insider in an email.
- Russian Ministry of Defense
“Basic swarming with drones now is so easy that any kid with an internet connection can figure out how to do it,” Velicovich said.
A recent Daily Beast investigation even found similar drones for sale on a social media arms market.
Dmitry Gorenburg, a senior research scientist at CNA, and Aaron Stein, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, both told Business Insider that Moscow was probably embarrassed by the attack, especially with the upcoming presidential election in March, and may have tried to blame the attack on a major power.
“It’s really embarrassing to have a bunch of junk fly through your air defenses and wreak havoc,” Stein said.