The Russian military has ordered personnel stationed in Syria to jam cell phone signals to prevent drone attacks.
Russia’s Khmeimim airbase and Tartus naval base in Syria have been targeted in coordinated explosives-laden drone attacks in previous months, including a deadly New Year’s Eve assault that resulted in the deaths of two soldiers.
The RBC business portal reported Tuesday that it had obtained a Russian General Staff document ordering 2G and 3G signals jammed in Khmeimim by March 30. The document orders other Russian outposts in Syria, including in Tartus, to suppress phone signals by July 1.
“Unmanned aerial vehicles such as quadcopters can follow a specific signal via a phone number,” a Defense Ministry source who confirmed the authenticity of the document told RBC on Tuesday.
The military may have also handed down the order to suppress unwanted leaks, Andrei Payusov, a military expert and reserve colonel, told RBC.
Russian soldiers were ordered to switch from smartphones to simpler devices without GPS, cameras or internet access as early as by March 1, Russian media reported this week.