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Attack targets Russia military base in northern Syria, Guardians of Religion Organisation claims responsibility 

January 2, 2021 at 11:41 am

Russian military vehicles seen on the road towards its military outposts in Kamisli in Kamisli, Syria on 14 September 2020 [Samer Uveyd/Anadolu Agency]

A Russian military base in northeastern Syria has been targetted at dawn on Friday, in unprecedented aggression for which the Guardians of Religion Organisation have claimed responsibility.

Local sources told Al-Jazeera that the bombing was followed by open fire in the military base, located in the northern countryside of Raqqa, which is under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), home of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Kurdish media reported that the bombing took place after targeting the Russian checkpoint in Tel Al-Samen with a car bomb.

Shaam News Network indicated that the Guardians of Religion Organisation, which is linked to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the unprecedented attack.

The news agency divulged that the Guardians of Religion Organisation issued a statement on Friday entitled The Battle of Al-Isra, in which it claimed that it had occupied a Russian military site.

The news agency quoted activists in the local Al-Khabour website stating that the explosion occurred at the entrance to the Russian base, followed by the sound of heavy gunfire, as a number of ambulances entered the site.

The Guardians of Religion Organisation was established in 2018. Since then, many of its leaders have been targeted by aircraft of the international coalition led by the US, offering large financial rewards in exchange for information on the faction commanders’ locations.

The organisation remained a component of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) until 2016. However, in 2018 it rejected, along with other factions, the Sochi Agreement between Turkey and Russia on a ceasefire in Idlib.