Russia on Wednesday identified the village from which a swarm of drones attacked its main military base in Syria and released photographs of the crudely constructed aircraft that were used. The revelations only somewhat cleared up the mystery surrounding what amounts to the biggest concerted attack on Russia's main military base of Hmeimim since the Russian military intervention in Syria began in 2015. Russia said it held Turkey accountable for the drone attack, calling it a breach of their cease-fire agreement in northern Syria, while Turkey accused Russia and Iran of jeopardizing the entire peace process by launching an offensive to take control of an opposition-held air base in the area. The Russian Defense Ministry named the opposition-controlled village of Muwazarra in southern Idlib province as the location from which a swarm of at least a dozen drones armed with crude explosives was launched Saturday, attacking the Hmeimim air base and the nearby naval base of Tartus in northwestern Syria. Under the cease-fire deal, Turkey is supposed to restrain opposition forces in Idlib province.
A senior U.S. official says the United States has concluded that Russia knew in advance of Syria's chemical weapons attack last week. The official says a Russian-operated drone flew over a hospital in Syria as victims of the attack were rushing to get treatment. Hours after the drone left, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital in what American officials believe was an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons. Until Monday, U.S. officials had said they weren't sure if the drone was operated by Russia or Syria. The senior official said it still wasn't clear who was flying the jet that bombed the hospital.
Syria called on the United Nations on Sunday to condemn its rebel foes after an apparent attack with unidentified chemicals in the city of Aleppo sent scores of choking victims to hospitals. Medics reported a flood of patients with breathing troubles, inflamed eyes and other symptoms after a shelling attack on Saturday that Syrian and Russian officials blamed on the rebels. The Syrian state news service, SANA, said that more than 100 people had been affected by the attack, although it reported no deaths. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in Britain, released slightly lower numbers. A spokesman for Russia's Ministry of Defense said 46 people, including eight children, had been exposed to chemicals.