In Syria, militants attempted an attack on the Khmeimim airbase, where the Russian air forces are located. firing multiple launch rockets at it. This was stated in the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
“On August 8, at about 16:00 Moscow time, by means of monitoring the airspace of the Russian air base Khmeimim from the north-western direction from the area of the settlement “Kbana, mountain Latakia, recorded the launch of four multiple launch rockets in the direction of the Russian air base,” the agency said in a press release.
The ministry said that the missiles did not reach the base, bursting "in one of the settlements two kilometers northeast of the Khmeimim airfield."
It is emphasized that there are no victims among Russians. However, two civilians died as a result of the incident.
“According to the Syrian security agencies, two local residents were killed as a result of the shelling of the terrorists, four more people were injured,” the Defense Ministry said.
Note that the militants are not the first time trying to attack the base in Khmeimim. So, on Monday, August 5, they also fired rockets. Then three MLRS missiles, having not reached their goal, fell on the village of Ruysed Afif. Four locals were injured.
At the end of July, militants sent drones towards the air base. Three aircraft appeared from the side of the Idlib de-escalation zone. They were discovered and destroyed by Russian air defense systems, reported the head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria, Major General Alexei Bakin.
In May, the Russian Aerospace Forces with a point strike destroyed the rocket launcher of the MLRS fighters in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Deadly De-escalation Zone
As the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces explained, the aggravation of the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone has been observed since June. The militants of the terrorist group “Hayat Tahrir Ash-Sham” * are operating there, who do not stop shelling settlements and positions of government forces. So, in four months, 110 Syrian military and 65 civilians became their victims.
However, the response by the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which is being assisted by Russia, aroused concern among representatives of the West and the United States. In particular, UN Deputy Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lawcock expressed the opinion that a sweep in Idlib could provoke a humanitarian catastrophe. And the deputy official representative of the State Department, Robert Palladino, even said that the ongoing efforts in the region would cause a destabilization of the situation in the adjacent territories.
In turn, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said that the concerns of Western partners look like an attempt to "preserve the terrorist enclave in Idlib." He also accused the UN of silencing data on the number of victims of terrorists in the Arab Republic. In addition, Nebenzya indicated that the militants continue to build up their military capabilities, including through foreign weapons.
- Vasily Nebenzya
- © Brendan McDermid
In addition to direct attacks, militants are also attempting to influence the Syrian population. So, according to Colonel General Sergei Rudsky, chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces, the terrorists launched a campaign to discredit Russia's actions in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
“It is alleged that Russian aviation allegedly strikes civilians and socially significant targets,” Rudskoy said on July 29.
He noted that the White Helmets organization is behind the spread of misinformation. Its participants, stressed the Colonel General, are filming staged shots about "strikes by the Russian Air Force on civilian objects."
Recall that the White Helmets organization has been repeatedly accused of collaborating with terrorist groups. In addition, the organization is known for filming staged videos. One of them, dedicated to the "chemical attack" in the city of Duma, was the reason for the launch by the United States, Britain and France of a missile strike on Syria on the night of April 14. Russia initially spoke about the falsification of accusations against Damascus, but only ten months later in the West it was reported that this was a fake.
* “Jabhat al-Nusra” (“Jabhat Fath al-Sham”, “Front al-Nusra”, “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham”) - the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation dated December 29, 2014.
** “Islamic State” (ISIS, ISIS) - the organization was recognized as terrorist by decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014.