By Joshua Nevett
Russia has accused the US military of deploying the drones from a Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane that was patrolling the Mediterranean Sea near the war-torn country.
Operated by a single crew, the 13 drones launched an attack on Hmeymim airbase, Russia’s main strategic centre of operations in the Syrian civil war, it is claimed.
Russia’s deputy defence minister Alexander Fomin said the drones “began to be operated out of space” but were destroyed after “penetrating” the base, near the city of Latakia in Hmeimim, Latakia Governorate.
“Thirteen drones moved according to common combat battle deployment, operated by a single crew. During all this time the American Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane patrolled the Mediterranean Sea area for eight hours,” Colonel General Fomin said.
Dmitry Peskov, the official spokesperson for president Vladimir Putin , said he was “alarmed” by reports the drone attack was coordinated by the US military.
He did not rule out the possibility of Putin and US president Donald Trump discussing the allegations during their next meeting, scheduled for November 11 in Paris.
The US Department of Defence is yet to comment on the allegations made by Russia ’s ministry of defence.
Fomin said the drones “switched to manual mode” when they were repelled by “electronic countermeasures” at the Russia base, suggesting it was a deliberate attack.
“Manual guidance is carried out not by some villagers, but by the Poseidon-8, which has modern equipment. It undertook manual control,” he said.
The alleged attack on Hmeimim airbase, where the Russian Air Force is supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in the civil war, happened on January 6 this year.
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