Russian media are heavily circulating the version that the Turkish military is involved in the air attack on the Russian airbase in the region of Latakia, Syria – Khmeimim, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing several Russian sources.
According to media reports, Russian military intelligence has launched an investigation into the airstrike. According to field sources, Turkish and pro-Turkish units attacked the Russian airbase with missiles from the Turkish TRG-300 Kasirga complexes. This Turkish missile system has a range of up to 120 km.
According to other field sources, shortly before the Russian military base Khmeimim, the Russian troops spotted unmanned aerial vehicles in the area. Experts say they were drones of Turkish military intelligence.
The attack on the Russian military base
The air attack on Russia’s military base in Syria – Khmeimim was carried out on February 9, but the information was spread in the media only yesterday, on February 11. Russian military intelligence said the attack began at 7:45 p.m. Moscow time.
There is no damage to the base, as the air defense systems that provide a protective dome in the area and on the ground have activated, intercepted, and shot down all the missiles fired.
Shortly after the attack, the Russian and Syrian air forces carried out large-scale airstrikes on jihadist positions in the Tahrir area. Military experts believe that the Russian airbase’s attack was the reason for the Russian retaliatory strike.
A ‘message’ from Moscow
Late in the evening of February 9 and early in the morning of February 10, the Syrian Arab Army and Russian aerospace forces launched a colossal missile strike near the city of Tarkin, Syria. According to field sources, the Russian and Syrian units hit a Turkish transport convoy trying to transport oil trucks from Syria to Turkey. Pro-Turkish local militias guarded the convoy.
The source claims that the Syrians are using the Russian missile system Tochka [Point – ed.]. Judging by the footage provided, the damage is colossal and includes both oil transport trucks and military equipment. It is not reported whether the military equipment is owned by the Turkish army or by the convoy’s exporters. There are reports of casualties – 28 pro-Turkish soldiers killed and dozens more wounded.
It was initially thought to have been struck by a Russian Kavikadze drone. But our field source managed to reach the site of the explosion and filmed the fallen Russian missile from the Point missile system. The rocket explosion destroyed almost everything within a radius of 100-150 meters.
We remind you that this is the fourth such missile strike in this area since the beginning of this year. All four attacks involved an attempt to transport smuggled oil.
War in Syria
In February 2020, Turkey lost at least 62 troops killed in Syria. Nearly 100 soldiers were wounded, Syrian-backed forces destroyed dozens of Turkish armored vehicles, and more than ten drones, including drones, were shot down. Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of involvement in the deaths of Turkish soldiers, Russia rejects these allegations.
In early March, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed that a ceasefire came into force in the Idlib de-escalation zone. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad later said that if the US and Turkish military did not leave the country, Damascus would use power.
The reason for the Russian-Turkish negotiations was a sharp aggravation of the situation in Idlib, where in January, a large-scale offensive by the Syrian army against the positions of the armed opposition and terrorists began.
Government forces recaptured nearly half of the Idlib de-escalation zone and left behind several Turkish observation posts. After that, Ankara sharply increased its military contingent in the region and launched the operation “Spring Shield” to push the Syrian troops. Militants are loyal to Ankara and support Turkey.