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The Latest: Russia: Syria drone attacks required outside aid

The Latest: Russia: Syria drone attacks required outside aid

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Russia's Defense Ministry says a recent series of drone attacks on its military bases in Syria would have requited assistance from a country possessing satellite navigation technology.

The ministry said its forces repelled a series of drone attacks Saturday on the Hemeimeem air base and a naval facility in Tartus. It said that out of the 13 drones involved, seven were shot down and six were forced to land without inflicting any damage.

Without blaming any specific country, the ministry claimed data for the attacks could only have been obtained "from one of the countries that possesses know-how in satellite navigation."

In Tuesday's statement, it noted a "strange coincidence" of a U.S. military intelligence plane flying over the Mediterranean near the two Russian bases at the moment of the attack.

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5 p.m.

Syria's state news agency SANA says rebel shelling of the capital has killed five people and wounded 30.

Tuesday's shelling came as opposition activists reported airstrikes and shelling of rebel-held Damascus suburbs that killed and wounded dozens.

SANA said 15 shells struck the central, predominantly Christian neighborhood of Bab Touma. The capital has been shelled on a near-daily basis in recent weeks.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said warplanes attacked several suburbs of Damascus, including Saqba, where a man and a child were killed and 13 others were wounded.

The Observatory and the Syrian Civil Defense, first responders known as the White Helmets, reported airstrikes on other suburbs including Harasta and Douma

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12:30 p.m.

The Kremlin says the number of Russian troops left in Syria is sufficient for fending off any attacks by militants.

Russia's Defense Ministry said late on Monday that its forces have repelled a series of drone attacks on its bases in Syria — the Hemeimeem air base and a naval facility in Tartus. It said that out of the 13 drones involved, seven were shot down and six were forced to land. The ministry said there was no damage.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in Syria last month and ordered a partial troops pullout.

Asked Tuesday whether the withdrawal could have been premature in view of the drone attack, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian forces in Syria have "all the necessary means" to counter any challenge.


Updated : 2022-01-23 03:23 GMT+08:00

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