Russia Says Its Air Base in Syria Attacked by Militants

Moscow says no damage to base as rockets hit nearby village, while Damascus renews fighting in Idlib area

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Russian servicemen prepare an SU-34 fighter jet for a mission from the Hmeimim base, May 4, 2016.
Russian servicemen prepare an SU-34 fighter jet for a mission from the Hmeimim base, May 4, 2016.Credit: AFP PHOTO / Vasily Maximov / MOY

Russia's military says militants fired three unguided rockets at its air base in Syria, injuring four civilians but causing no damage to the facility.

The Russian defense ministry said Monday that the rockets hit a village near the Hmeimim air base in Latakia province on Syria's Mediterranean coast.

The attack comes as the Syrian army says it will resume its offensive on the northwestern Idlib province, the last opposition-held stronghold, accusing insurgents of violating a recent truce.

The cease fire, which went into effect Aug. 1, marked a brief pause in the stalled three-month offensive against al-Qaida-linked militants and other jihadi groups that dominate Idlib and surrounding areas.

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The Syrian army said on Monday it was resuming military operations in a Russian-led campaign in northwest Syria that has uprooted tens of thousands and killed hundreds, blaming Turkey for not abiding by its commitments under a truce deal.

Syrian state media said on Thursday the ceasefire would depend on militants fulfilling a Russian-Turkish deal that tried last year to create an Idlib buffer zone.

"The agreement to a truce was conditional. .This did not happen.. We resume our military operations against terrorist organisations," said the army statement.

Since Damascus declared a ceasefire on Thursday night, its warplanes have not mounted air strikes, though the combatants are still shelling each other.