Russia says it is still deploying drones in Syria to aid strikes

A still image shows the ISIS forces’ military vehicles near a mosque in a residential area in Syria. (File photo: Reuters)

Russia’s military said Saturday it is continuing to use drones over Syria despite suspicions that one of its drones was downed by Turkey.

“I would ... like to emphasize that Russian drones are continuing to monitor the situation in Syria’s skies,” spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, quoted by RIA Novosti news agency.

Turkey on Friday downed a drone that the U.S. military suspects to be Russian close to the Syrian border, although Moscow swiftly said its drones were all intact.

The latest Russian strikes used data from a drone to put two tanks and three ISIS infantry combat vehicles out of operation in Aleppo province, the Russian defence ministry said in a statement Saturday.

It said its latest strikes hit 49 targets, including a suicide bomber training camp.

Russia “carried out 36 sorties from the Hmeimim air base” to Hama, Idlib, Latakia, Damascus and Aleppo provinces, the ministry said.

That was almost the same number as on Friday, which saw 33 sorties, as Russia covers an offensive by the Syrian army on the ground.

The latest targets included a “terrorist training base” used to train “ISIS fighters to carry out guerrilla warfare in areas liberated by the Syrian army and also suicide bombers” in Latakia province, the ministry said.

“As a result of a direct hit by an aerial bomb, the building was completely destroyed,” it added.

Russia said Friday that it has hit more than 456 ISIS group targets since launching its bombing campaign on Syria on Sep. 30.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45