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Drone attack on Russia bases in Syria 'came from Idlib'

AFP  |  Moscow 

Drones that attacked Russian bases in last week were sent from Idlib, a "de-escalation" zone controlled by fighters, the Russian defence ministry's official newspaper said today.

province has been a source of tension between regime-backer and rebel-supporter Turkey, with accusing the Syrian regime of stepping up its offensive on key rebel-held areas there.

"The drones were launched from the area of Muazzara in the southwestern part of the de-escalation area controlled by so-called 'moderate opposition' units," defence ministry newspaper said.

The ministry has written to the chiefs of the Turkish army and intelligence service to insist that fully implement a ceasefire in province, the paper added.

Idlib is one of four de-escalation zones in covered by a deal meant to reduce violence that was struck last year by Turkey, and government-backer

On Tuesday, Turkey's foreign ministry summoned the Russian and Iranian to Ankara, according to diplomatic sources, after saying the Syrian regime was targeting moderate opposition forces in Idlib near the Turkish border.

Turkish said this could torpedo talks aimed at ending the war.

is hoping to hold a peace congress in its resort of Sochi on January 29-30.

Idlib province is almost entirely controlled by anti- forces that are dominated by a jihadist outfit known as

On Monday, Russia said pilotless drones carrying explosives attacked Russian bases in Syria last weekend without causing any casualties or damage.

After two years of support for the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin announced in mid-December the partial withdrawal of forces from the country, saying their task had been largely completed.

The size of the toal Russian deployment in Syria is not known but independent expert Pavel Felgenhauer told AFP that up to 10,000 troops and private contractors could have taken part in the conflict.

More than 330,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, which began in 2011 as the regime crushed anti-protests. Millions have been displaced.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 10 2018. 14:50 IST