Russia shoots down UAV in Syria

Russia says it shot down unmanned aircraft of unknown origin near the Khmeimim airbase in Syria.

Ben Ariel ,

Military drone
Military drone

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Monday night that an unmanned aircraft of unknown origin had been shot down near the Russian Khmeimim airbase in Syria, Russia Today reported.

No one was injured in the incident and the base did not sustain any damage, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The flying object came close to the military facility and was destroyed by the base air defenses. Khmeimim airfield continued to operate normally following the incident, according to the report.

Several videos, purportedly showing the moment the drone was shot down, have since emerged on social media, but RT has not been able to independently verify their authenticity.

This is the third time the Khmeimim airbase was targeted with unmanned aircraft this year. The most massive attack was launched in January with 10 drones, some armed with bomblets, buzzing the compound, and three others targeting the Russian maritime logistics point located in the city of Tartus. Seven of those drones were shot down, while six were overridden by electronic warfare specialists and forced to land. Three machines remained intact and were later brought to Russia for investigation.

In April, another two drones were located and destroyed some 10 km away from the base.

The Khmeimim air base is located in the Syrian port city of Latakia. Earlier this year, Russia deployed Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighters to the base.

Russia also operates a naval base in Tartus, from which Russian ships have played a prominent role backing up an aerial bombing campaign in support of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad.

A senior Russian senator said in 2016 the country is planning to expand its airbase in Syria into a permanent military facility.