A drone attack on Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria in January this year was an elaborate multi-purpose Pentagon operation, Editor-in-Chief of National Defense journal Igor Korotchenko told TASS on Thursday.
As Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said at a plenary session of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum on security earlier on Thursday, the UAVs that attacked Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria were operated from a US Boeing Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane.
When the drones encountered electronic countermeasures from Russian systems, they switched into manual guidance mode from the Poseidon-8 aircraft, he said.
“This was the Pentagon’s elaborate operation,” Korotchenko said.
“They pursued several goals. Naturally, they proceeded from the fact that we would not find out,” the National Defense chief editor noted.
“There were three such goals: uncovering the Russian air defense system in Syria, carrying out radio-electronic reconnaissance and inflicting actual harm to our servicemen in Syria,” Korotchenko said.
“The first goal was to see how well our bases in Syria are protected from such threats as a massive attack by light drones. Correspondingly, this was aimed at uncovering the strong and weak points in our air defense system in Syria,” the expert pointed out.
In Korotchenko’s opinion, the second goal was to carry out electronic reconnaissance.
“At the moment, when our air defense systems and electronic warfare measures were activated, the goal was to reveal this grouping and try to understand the parameters of irradiation and the combat modes of operation. An electronic warfare plane was in the air and US ground-based radio-electronic reconnaissance systems in nearby Middle East countries were involved,” the chief editor noted.
The Americans could have also derived political advantages, if the operation had been successful, the expert said.
“Another objective was to try to inflict real damage to us. If the attack had been crowned with success, the Americans could have expected political consequences, such as the cost of our image. This could have been used for weakening our geo-political positions,” the expert noted.