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Russia Says Shoots Down Drone Near Main Syria Air Base

Russian troops march at the Hmeimim military base in Syria.
Russian troops march at the Hmeimim military base in Syria.

The Russian military says it has downed an unidentified drone approaching its Hmeimim air base in Syria.

The military said in a statement late on May 21 that the drone caused no casualties or physical damage before it was shot down near the base that serves as the main hub for Russian operations in Syria, Russian news agencies reported.

The British-based war monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said explosions were heard near the base and appeared to have come from Russian air defenses confronting the drone.

It apparently was only the latest attack by a drone on Russian military assets in Syria. In another attack on Hmeimim in January, the Russian military said it shot down seven of 13 drones involved and forced the others to land.

Russia has conducted a bombing campaign in Syria since September 2015, helping reverse the course of the nation's seven-year civil war in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's favor.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and TASS