But its influence became more explicit in 2016, when Turkish troops and allied Syrian rebels launched a military operation against both the Islamic State group and Kurdish fighters.
“We used to have two foreign languages in our curriculum: English and French. Because of the rapprochement between us and Turkey, all the teachers and administrators decided to switch” from French to Turkish, said Keno.
When these drones came across Russia’s electronic warfare measures, they pulled back from the kill zone and began receiving some commands via satellite communications, General Fomin explained. Someone, he said, “guided the UAVs to the so-called holes [in Russian defenses],” which they utilized before being downed by Khmeimim’s surface-to-air missiles.
The incident occurred overnight on January 8, involving 10 UAVs targeting Khmeimim itself. Three more drones attempted a strike on the Russian naval facility at the Syrian port city of Tartus. All 13 craft were then engaged by the Pantsir-S1 air-defense system.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says: “Over the course of the operation, a total of more than 87,500 militants have been eliminated, and 1,411 settlements in addition to more than 95 percent of Syria’s territory have been liberated. Key settlements have been liberated and main communications have been brought into operation. Syrian armed forces currently control territory, where 90 percent of the population resides.”