Russia says its air defense systems destroyed drones near Syrian base

There were no casualties or damage, Russian sources told Russian media. 

 A drone flies above the Indian ocean, Iran, in this handout image obtained on July 15, 2022.  (photo credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
A drone flies above the Indian ocean, Iran, in this handout image obtained on July 15, 2022.
(photo credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Russian air defenses were activated in northern Syria on Wednesday night. They confronted what Russian media said was a drone or UAV threat.

Russia has an important base at Khemeimim in northern Syria, part of its strategic interest in Syria. The base has been attacked in the past by Syrian rebel drones. However, considering that Russian President Vladimir Putin recently went to Iran and that Turkey is preparing for a new military operation in Syria, the heightened tensions are part of the context of this incident. 

Russia’s Sputnik and RIA media both wrote about the incident. “On July 20, 2022, at about 10:10 p.m., Russian air defense systems detected unmanned aerial vehicles approaching the area of ​​​​the Russian Khmeimim airbase from the northeast,” RIA Novosti quoted Russian sources as saying.

Russia uses this base to back the Syrian regime. In 2018 Syrian air defense shot down a Russian plane by mistake in this area. The drones were allegedly launched by “militants” Russian media said.

 RUSSIAN FOREIGN Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen meet in Moscow in February. Since 2015, Israel has shared a de facto border with Russia. (credit: RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY/REUTERS) RUSSIAN FOREIGN Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen meet in Moscow in February. Since 2015, Israel has shared a de facto border with Russia. (credit: RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY/REUTERS)

"No casualties or damage"

The drones were shot down two kilometers from the base. Russia has Pantsir air defense, as well as S-300 and other air defense systems in northern Syria. Russian media further suggested the drones were “makeshift” and not a major threat.

There were no casualties or damage, Russian sources told Russian media.