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Turkey says Syrian regime strikes in Idlib undermine political process

12 Января 2018

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. In December, Putin visited the Khmeimim base and said Russian Federation would start to wind its presence down because the war in Syria is essentially over.

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

The Russian Ministry of Defense had previously insinuated the USA had helped.

"What I am seeing here is the use of the presence of al Nusra and HTS as an excuse to attack civilians and moderate oppositions", Cavusoglu added.

Eric Pahon, a spokesperson for the US Department of Defense, told The Independent: "Any suggestion the US, the coalition or our partnered forces played a role in an attack on a Russian base is without any basis in fact and utterly irresponsible".

Russian Federation said that a recent drone attack against its military base in Syria would not have been possible without assistance from a country possessing satellite navigation technology.

The recent attack comes about a week after the Kheimim air base was subjected to mortar shelling by militant groups that killed two Russian military personals.

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The Russian Defense Ministry said on January 8 that there were no casualties or damage as a result of the attacks on the Hmeimim air base and Tartus naval facility.

ISIS has also recently retaken portions of Idlib, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's declaration of victory in Syria late a year ago. "The village has always come under shelling, and the regime and Russian Federation don't need an excuse to bomb us".

Idlib is one of four de-escalation zones in Syria established as part of a deal, signed by Turkey, Russia and Iran, to reduce the intensity of the conflict.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, third left, visits the Hemeimeem air base in Syria, Saturday, June 18, 2016. "But now they might bomb more after these false accusations".

Diplomats summoned in Ankara to express Turkey's "discomfort" about Syrian army attacks in Idlib, Turkish sources say.

"Iran and Russian Federation should fulfil the responsibilities [as guarantor states] in Syria", Cavusoglu said in remarks published by state media. The regime is advancing inside Idlib.

"Given Turkey's deteriorating relationship with the USA, it [would be odd] for Turkey to lash out at Russia", Gorenburg said.

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Turkey says Syrian regime strikes in Idlib undermine political process