Russia Downs Drone Near Its Syria Air Base

The drone caused no casualties or damage, and the Hmeimim air base is operating as normal, reports said

A boy runs near damaged buildings while competing in 'Freedom Marathon' marking the fifth anniversary of the Syrian crisis, in the town of Marat Numan in Idlib province, Syria, March 23, 2016.
Reuters

Russia's military said it had shot down a drone that came close to its Syrian air base at Hmeimim on Saturday and was launched from the Idlib "de-escalation" zone controlled by what Moscow calls "illegal military groups", TASS agency reported.

The drone caused no casualties or damage, and the Hmeimim air base is operating as normal, the agency said.

On Sunday, Syrian opposition activists say an explosion in the country’s north has killed at least 18 people and wounded many others. The cause of the blast wasn’t immediately known.

The opposition-run Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, says the blast occurred Sunday in the village of Sarmada near the Turkish border and “killed and wounded dozens.” The explosion collapsed a five-story building, burying many of the victims.