Russian base in Syria. The shelling of the Russian base in Syria
The Russian base in Syria has been repeatedly attacked. And after the last attacks, there are a lot of versions about who did it, why and what consequences are expected. What was it: spontaneous attacks of terrorists, not supported by the West, or a well-prepared, but failed operation, which was a challenge to the Russian presence in Syria? Or is it an attempt to undermine the authority of the Russian president after declaring a complete victory over terrorism in Syria? Let's try to figure it out.
The operation of the Russian HVAC in Syria
Since the end of September 2015, an operation has been carried out in Syria by the military space forces of the Russian Federation - Russian units from the air support the ground campaign of the army of Syrian government forces against terrorist groups.
Russian base in Syria "Hmeimim"
To conduct a military campaign in Syria, the Khmeimim airbase was established on the basis of a Syrian military airfield in the province of Lattakia. The logistics of the base was carried out with the help of cargo aircraft EMERCOM of Russia.Construction materials, a field hospital, air conditioners and a food unit were delivered.
Where are the Russian bases in Syria: location
On the basis of the Russian-Syrian intergovernmental agreement, the naval base of Russia is located in the port city of Tartus, which is, rather, a point of material and technical support under number 720 (PMTO-720). For the general public, this object is called the military base. This is a rather small item consisting of 3 warehouses, three harbors, 2 pontoon bridges, car parking, a spacious jetty, a dehydrated dock and a single-track railway line. Along the perimeter of the base is a concrete wall.
Since the Syrian People's Republic is a territorially extended state, the Shairat airports in Homs and Al-Tayas in Palmyra are additionally used by the Russian Aerospace Forces. In Kamyshly, there is also a base of joint use with the Syrian troops. Therefore, it can be expected that in the future another Russian military base will be created in Syria.
After the end of the Russian military operation in Syria, a message was received from representatives of the Ministry of Defense, as well as the President of the Russian Federation himself, that the military bases in Syria would continue to operate.
Protection of the stationed grouping of Khmeimim airbase
Despite reports in the past that the Marine Corps and Airborne Forces will guard, in fact, the military police of the Russian Federation made ground protection for the Russian base in Syria.
Air Defense Base "Hmeimim"
The aviation cover missions were carried out by the operational units of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean, which were located in its eastern part.
Also, an air defense system was deployed together with the Syrian army. After the incident with the SU-24M, in November 2015, the S-400 complex, located on the territory of the Khmeimim airbase, was included in the air defense system, as well as the Fort complex of the Moskva missile cruiser that moved to the east coast of the Mediterranean seas. To counter the air and space danger, on the territory of the airbase they placed the EW Krasukha-4 complexes.
The air defense of the Khmeimim airbase consists of 4 echelon air defense systems of Russia and Syria. The furthest approaches are the Russian S-400, TRIUMF and Vega S-200VE anti-aircraft missile systems. The middle distances are the S-300 "Fort" systems of the Varyag and Moskva missile cruisers, as well as the Buk-M2E land complex.
Short distances - Osa-AKM, S-125 Pechora-2M anti-aircraft systems.The main objects are the Pantsir-S1 missile-gun complex. According to the commander-in-chief of the Russian army, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, dated March 17, 2016, the air base’s air defense system was ordered to be used on targets of any kind that pose a threat to the lives of Russian military personnel.
Attacks against the Hmeimim base and Tartus base
The air base and the naval base in Syria have been repeatedly attacked by militants. Back in 2015, after the first attack, the air defenses were reinforced with the C-400 complex. The most recent attacks on Russian bases date back to January 2018. After the shelling of the Russian base in Syria on the eve of the New Year, December 31, according to reports of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, 2 servicemen were killed. And the news of Western and other media about the destruction of 7 aircraft were called fake.
However, users of social networks consider the message of the Ministry of Defense wrong. Roman Saponkov, a war correspondent, posted to the Network (on his VKontakte page) photos of the Su-24M, which show that the plane was damaged. As specified by the author of the Directorate telegram channel, this machine has a damaged stabilizer on the right side and a hydraulic system.Saponkov, according to his data, reports that out of ten units of equipment that were repaired, only three were able to be repaired, no information was received for the remaining items. These news did not receive official confirmation or refutation.
On the evening of January 6, a message was received from Syria about an attack on a Russian base by unknown drones. The security system reacted to the small aircraft by triggering an alarm. According to various sources, drones were launched from the Islamic State militant base located in the province of Latakia.
Total recorded 13 drones, six of which were captured under the control of electronic warfare units. Three were planted and shot down as many more when landing outside military bases. The remaining 7 UAVs were shot down by the Pantsir complex still on approach.
According to the author of the Directorate telegram channel, the drones had a very primitive design and consisted of a wooden frame, a large amount of adhesive tape and a motor. According to other sources it was the most that there are combat aircraft, and not handicraft drones.
Conspiracy Theories: Comments
A series of recent attacks on the air base spawned a number of conspiracy theories. These incidents caused a lot of questions about who should be held responsible for Russia's most serious losses. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 11, 2017 announced a victory over terrorism and a reduction in the presence of the Russian armed forces in Syria. This happened shortly before the election.
During the Syrian military campaign, Russian troops managed to support President Bashar al-Assad, who for seven years now has been trying to suppress an armed uprising of the opposition, supported by the West, and return the situation to a peaceful legal framework for a general settlement. One of the important components of success was and remains a complete cleansing of the territory of Syria from terrorist groups, primarily organized ones. This was announced by the President of Russia as the result of a military campaign in Syria.
Like it or not, the average person can only guess based on evidence that can be easily fabricated by anyone. The Ministry of Defense does not have the necessary time and human resources to refute the information.But the fact remains: the anti-Russian sentiment, which is supported by authoritative Western media, suggests that the Russians are not as good as they say, and that the president has exaggerated the success of the Russian Federation's armed forces in Syria.
Who really is behind the attacks: hypotheses
The question is interesting, but left without a clear answer. Who is the performer of active attacks on the base of the Russian VKS in Syria? Certainly, terrorists or people from opposition official power groups. Who is the true customer, coordinator, think tank of these attacks? Here there is a wide field for reflections and assumptions. The peculiarity of the attacks is that no one took responsibility for them.
Responsibility in the USA?
The Russian Ministry of Defense tried to impose responsibility on the United States, based on the fact that the terrorists did not have the necessary technology and skills to carry out such a large-scale operation, and at the time of the attack over the territory of the airbase there was an American Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft. The American representative of the Pentagon said that such accusations have no evidence, they are fake, and these drones are constantly used by terrorists in attacks on the positions of coalition forces in eastern Syria and Iraq.
An interesting fact is that the positions of ISIL are at a considerable distance (hundreds of kilometers) from the province of Latakia, where the base is located. In this regard, it is unlikely that the terrorists could have organized such an operation. Moreover, for most drones that are used by terrorists, the flight range does not exceed several kilometers. Those drones that were used in attacks on the base Hmeymim and in Tartus, flew from 50 to 100 kilometers, which indicates a large and technologically complex operation. This broadens the range of possible suspects.
There is a version that one of the opposition armed groups could have organized the attack. However, within the reach of a mortar shot there is no such organization. Moreover, usually in any activity, these groups invariably take responsibility for the actions committed. This time, no such thing was done, which may indicate that these groups were not involved in the shelling.
A curious version is the version of the attack on the Alawite base - a nation that lives near the territory of the air base.Not so long ago, a statement by the Free Alawite Movement grouping addressed to representatives of its people supporting Bashar al-Assad appeared in Internet sources. It said that the attacks demonstrate the weakness of the power of the legally acting president. However, the statement does not contain phrases that they launched the attacks. A number of representatives of the Alawite opposition believe that in reality this is a fictional movement, as Western special services are trying to create the appearance of internal struggle and contradictions of supporters of the ruling power.
There may be many theories, but none of them received a clear confirmation.
Even before the Russian president’s trip to the air base, the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, in the person of its head, Valery Gerasimov, posted a statement saying that after the reduction of the Russian grouping in Syria, there will remain several objects. This is the center of reconciliation of the warring parties, the Hmeimim airbase, the naval base in Tartus and a number of other structures. They are necessary to maintain the current situation in the country.
The question is that new opportunities for terrorist acts were opened up to terrorist movements, which the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation repeatedly tried to inform the world community about.At one of the briefings, after a perfect attack on the Russian military base “Khmeimim” in Syria, were presented “trophy” drones consisting of plywood wings, a homemade fuel plastic tank and a lawnmower engine, which was clearly upgraded, because the lawn mowing machine had not yet flown learned
In addition, the coordinates that were laid down in the control program turned out to be much more accurate than publicly available ones. The combat equipment of such a drone is 10 improvised bombs consisting of a plastic body with metal balls inside and a radius of destruction of up to 50 meters. The explosive with which the machines were filled is more powerful than hexogen, and it is produced in just a few countries.
Russian military experts on UAVs are confident that the terrorists could hardly have made this kind of aircraft on their own. However, this does not negate the fact that the attackers now have new, broader opportunities for attacks in densely populated cities. And now also from the air, without resorting to the seizure of aircraft.
According to the General Staff of the Russian Federation, the drones came from the province of Idlib, teeming with terrorists, having traveled a considerable distance to the point of impact.After several days of search and preparation, the warehouse from which the drones were launched was destroyed by the impact of the Krasnopol high-precision artillery gun.
After the attacks on the bases of the Russian troops in Syria, quite a lot of questions remained. Much more than answers. But the Russian military command is probably keeping everything under control.