Russia's Troop Withdrawal From Syria Will Not Shorten Its Clout, Experts Say

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The statement came a day after the Defense Ministry said that 13 armed drones were used to attack its facilities in Hmeimim and Tartus overnight on January 5-6.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called on Russian Federation and Iran to fulfill their obligations under a peace plan for Syria and prevent attacks by Syrian government forces in Idlib Province, saying the violations could not happen without their support.

Read the whole story from Radio Free Europe.

The regime is advancing inside Idlib.

No deaths or material damage were recorded in the attempted attack on Hmeimem airbase, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, with the drone shot down close to the airport in Latakia province. Among the questions being asked in Moscow, he said, are whether the Russian military had adequately secured the base and whether it had failed to detect the acquisition of new technology by its adversaries.

More than 40 Russian military personnel died in Syria since Moscow launched a campaign of air strikes in September 2015, in many cases using Hmeimim as a base.

Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Syrian government forces of attacking moderate opposition fighters under the guise of fighting extremists and said the move threatened peace talks scheduled in Russian Federation later this month.

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The drone attack, however, came less than a week after two Russian servicemen were killed in a sustained mortar assault on the same base, which appears to have caused some damage to Russian military assets.

Russian Federation announced on Wednesday that Turkish-backed rebels attacked its military bases in Syria. The Tuesday's statement from Russian Federation didn't point any figure but added that the technology used in the attack was telling.

"The gains the regime has made are not secure and are at high risk of being temporary", she added.

And perhaps the Kremlin really does believe the USA military was behind the attacks, which would be a very serious situation indeed. These systems have been used to conduct basic reconnaissance and to emplace or drop small explosives.

The ministry said it has sent letters to Turkey's military leaders, asking them to use monitors to help prevent further attacks from Idlib.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday said that Syrian regime forces were targeting the moderate opposition "on the pretext of fighting Al Nusra terror group".

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