ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey is doing everything it can to prevent militant attacks on the Russian air base at Himeymim in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
“We are joining all efforts to prevent attacks on the Russian military base in Hymenim. Our military agencies act in a coordinated way,” Erdogan said before a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Still, according to the leader of Turkey, at the moment, the Turkish drones did not register any equipment that represented some immediate danger in the region.
The statement is a response to concerns raised following recent attacks by the extremist organization known as * al-Nusra Front against positions of the Syrian Army in the de-escalating zone of Idlib. According to Moscow, the situation in the area would pose a major threat to Himeymim’s Russian base, as well as civilians and the Syrian military in nearby regions.
Last year, Russia reported a series of attacks against its base in Syria carried out by illegal armed groups fighting for the overthrow of Bashar Assad’s government.
This comes as two weeks ago a US Navy P-8 Poseidon antisubmarine patrol aircraft conducted a surveillance flight near the Hymenim airbase in Syria.
According to Plane Radar data, the plane took off from the Sigonella airbase on the Italian island of Sicily, and for about an hour was circulating near the Mediterranean coast of Syria, approaching periodically from the Russian airbase of Hmeymim, as well as the technical maintenance and supply center of the Russian Navy in Tartus.
On January 28, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that a Russian Su-27 fighter took off to intercept an American P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft over the Baltic Sea. According to the ministry, with the approach of the Su-27 the American plane distanced itself from the border of Russia. Following that, the Russian Aerospace Force fighter returned to base.
Over the past year, the Russian Aerospace Force has detected and tracked more than 980,000 air targets, 3,000 of which were foreign military aircraft, of which more than 1,000 were reconnaissance aircraft.