Russian military walk into an elaborate network of caves that served as a major rebel base outside Latamna near the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. Latamna’s caves are spacious enough to accommodate vehicles and could provide shelter to up to 5,000 rebels. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

TADMOR/Syria/, July 14. /TASS/. Syrian servicemen detained three militants of an extremist group Maghawir al-Thawra, who were tasked with collecting data on Russian military facilities.

The extremists were taken to Tadmor, located near Syria’s Palmyra. Earlier the armed group had been blown up by a mine and as a result several radicals were killed.

“We are part of Maghawir al-Thawra organization. Our group consisted of eight people: seven fighters and one guide, who was involved in drug trafficking and transported personnel. We went by motorbikes to fulfil missions and were trapped in a mine field. As a result, the group’s commander, a guide and another person were blown up by a mine. We lost our way and did not know where to go, because the guide died, and we started looking for the way out and continued moving. Then we were taken hostage and the Syrian forces brought us here,” one of those detained Jasem al-Ali told reporters.

The armed group was tasked with an espionage mission: the extremists had to collect data on military facilities, he admitted. “We were sent for fulfilling a mission in Raqqa province, in Al-Mansurah. The goal was to collect information. <…> We had to obtain data on Russian, Iranian and Syrian facilities,” the militant said, noting that the mission had started in Al-Tanf.

The militants received large sums of money from their sponsors. Several Kalashnikov guns and grenades, a large number of rounds of ammunition as well as money and drugs were seized.

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