Alwaght- Russian President Vladimir Putin says recent attacks on Russia’s Khmeimim Airbase in Syria were a provocation aimed at undermining the country’s relations with its partners Turkey and Iran and the peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis.
“Those were provocations aimed at disrupting the earlier agreements, in the first place. Secondly, it was about our relations with our partners – Turkey and Iran. It was also an attempt to destroy those relations,” the Russian President said during a meeting with the editors-in-chief of Russian papers and news agencies in Moscow. “We have a perfect understanding of that and will act in solidarity.”
“There were provocateurs there, but they were not Turks,” Putin said, refuting earlier reports saying the attacks on the Russian airbase were carried out by Turkoman units backed by Ankara. “We know who they are. We know whom and how much they paid for these provocations,” Putin said, without naming the organizers of the attacks.
Russian military sites in Syria were targeted in two major attacks in the past two weeks, one on New Year’s Eve and another on January 6. The first assault, reportedly carried out by an infiltration squad armed with mortars, resulted in two Russian servicemen being killed and damage to warplanes at Khmeimim Airbase. The second involved 13 drones armed with bomblets, which were all either shot down or forced to land via means of electronic warfare by Russian forces.
According to the head of state, the attacks on Khmeimim Airbase were “well-prepared.”
“We know when and where those unmanned aerial vehicles were handed over and how many there were,” he said.
“Those aircraft were only camouflaged – I want to emphasize this – to look like handicraft production. In fact, it is quite obvious that there were elements of high-tech nature there,” Putin said.