World

Russia implies US involvement in drone strikes on Syria military bases

Russia implies US involvement in drone strikes on Syria military bases

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to the press after the United Nations General Assembly emergency special session on US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital in Manhattan, New York.

Peskov recalled that in making the decision to pull out its military personnel from Syria "Russia proceeded from the assumption there are no grounds for conducting major offensive operations".

The Russian military said the drone attack was the first such coordinated assault it had experienced against its bases in Syria, with the drones flying from about 50 km away and guided by a Global Positioning System unit.

A recent study by London based Centre for Armament Research (CAR) warned that the numerous USA and Saudi Arabia supplied advanced weapons and military equipment to Syrian rebels ended up with Islamic State forces.

More than 330,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, which began in 2011 as the regime crushed anti-government protests.

Turkey, which backs the opposition, and Russian Federation and Iran, whose wide-ranging support for Assad has turned the war in his favour, have taken the lead in Syria peace efforts over the past year.

"Iran and Russian Federation need to carry out their responsibilities".

The incident raises questions over Vladimir Putin's claims Russian military support of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad had helped achieve victory in the six-year civil war. This damages the process of political resolution. At the time, Russian media reported the attacks were easily repulsed by Russian air defense and the unmanned aerial vehicles were primitive.

Alexei Malashenko, Research Director of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, said that Russia , Turkey and Iran all had different interests in the Syria conflict.

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He pointed out there were no reasons to keep secret or understate the number of drones that attacked Russian military facilities in Syria.

Believed to be the largest remaining rebel-held area in Syria, hospitals, markets and bakeries across Idlib province have been hit by government air raids. By the end of last week, they had advanced into Idlib, close to an insurgent-held military airport. The monitor also reported a total of 159 deaths of combatants on both sides of the battle and the deaths of around 48 civilians from airstrikes and a yet unclaimed auto bomb blast in central Idlib, as well as the displacement of up to 150,000 more civilians fleeing violence in Idlib.

Compounding the suspicions, the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page that a US Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft was in the skies above the area for four hours during the drone assault.

Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate known later as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, has become the most influential organization in Idlib, but it faced competition from rival jihadi group Ahrar al-Sham and other rebels struggling to assert themselves in the shrinking bastion of anti-government control.

Fighting and air strikes have forced more than 60,000 people to leave their homes since November 1, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Ankara is working closely on Syria with Russian Federation and Iran, President Bashar al-Assad's main allies, but has stepped up criticism of the regime's behaviour in recent days.

Turkey on Wednesday warned Iran and Russian Federation to make their Syrian regime ally stop bombing the rebel-held northern Idlib province, as tensions mounted ahead of mooted peace talks later this month. According to that theory, Iran wants to thwart Russia's efforts to impose a peace settlement on Syria that would undermine Iranian interests.

"Behind the attack there is, in my opinion, the" Islamic state.


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