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Russian airbase in Syria attacked by swarm of drones

The U.S. government has been concerned about this possibility and in another video, we were warned about swarms of drones being used to attack and now we learn that the first documented attack by a swarm of drones has actually taken place in Syria during the night of January 5. The Russian airbase, Khmeimim as well as a naval facility in the city of Tartus on Syria’s western coast were attacked by 13 drones launched from as far as 35 miles away, according to the Russian defense ministry.

With the use anti-aircraft missiles, the Russians were able to shoot down seven of the thirteen drones. Another six were hacked by a cyberware unit and taken under Russian control. There were no casualties or injuries at the two military bases.

First swarm drone attack against Russia

This seems to be the largest coordinated mass drone attack and Russia stated that they had never before experienced such an attack.

“It was the first time when terrorists applied a massed drone aircraft attack launched at a range of more than 50 km using modern GPS guidance systems,” a defense ministry spokesman said, according to the Telegraph.

The newspaper continues to report that:

Suspicion for the attack, which occurred the night of January 5, immediately fell on Syrian rebel and jihadist groups based in Idlib, an opposition controlled province next to Latakia where both Russian military facilities are located. Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamist rebel coalition, and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a jihadist group with links to al-Qaeda, are both based in Idlib and fighting against the Assad regime and their Russian allies. However, neither group claimed responsibility for the attack and in a social media post a previously unknown group called the “Free Alawites Movement” said it was behind the drone swarm.

The Russian Khmeimim airbase was attacked on New Year’s Eve when seven military aircraft were destroyed and two Russian troops were killed during a mortar attack. The Russian Kommersant newspaper said it was the single largest loss of Russian military equipment since Russia’s presence in Syria in September 2015.




Avatar for Haye Kesteloo Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at or @hayekesteloo