Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday it is known which "provocateur" was behind a drone attack which targeted Russian military bases in Syria earlier this month.
Putin added that he spoke to Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey had nothing to do with the attack, which the defence ministry has said took place overnight on Jan. 6.
The Russian Defense Ministry has, however, insinuated that the attacks could have been planned by the United States. The Pentagon denies any involvement in the drone attack targetting Rusiian military bases in Syria.
The Defence Ministry said Saturday’s raid on the Hemeimeem air base in the province of Lattakia and Russia’s naval facility in the port of Tartus involved 13 drones. It said seven were destroyed and the remaining Russian electronic warfare units ensured that 6 landed, with 3 of which exploding as they touched the surface.
Of the latter, three exploded when they hit the ground and three more were captured intact, the ministry said.
The Defence Ministry presented the drones at a briefing, arguing that it was impossible for the rebels to create drones with this level of technological sophistical.
Maj. Gen. Alexander Novikov, who heads the ministry’s drone department, said the drones used in the weekend’s raid on the Russian bases differed from the rudimentary craft earlier used by rebels in Syria. The attack, Maj. Gen. Alexander Nokikov says, requires satellite navigation data that aren’t available on the internet, complex engineering works and elaborate tests, Novikov said.
“The creation of drones of such class is impossible in makeshift conditions,” Novikov said. “Their development and use requires the involvement of experts with special training in the countries that manufacture and use drones.”