Russia says it eliminated Syria rebels who attacked its base

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MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military says it has eliminated a group of rebels who have attacked Russia's air base in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it tracked down the rebels with drones and struck them with artillery while they were getting into a minibus in the northwestern province of Idlib. It said in Friday's statement that the Russian military also destroyed a rebel facility for assembling drones in Idlib.

The mortar shelling of the Hemeimeem air base killed two Russian servicemen on New Year's eve, according to the Russian military. Last weekend, the rebels launched a drone attack on Hemeimeem and a Russian naval base in Tartus, which was repelled by the Russian military. It was the first such raid since Russian launched its campaign in Syria in September 2015.

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