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From 1500 km away, Russia bombards Islamic State in Syria

October 07, 2015 22:15 IST
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Russia on Wednesday carried out intense rocket strikes targeting the Islamic State in Syria from warships in the Caspian Sea, 1500 km away.

Demonstrators protest Russian intervention in Syria outside a Russian consular office in Santa Monica, California. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Four Russian ships fired 26 missiles into Syria, hitting 11 targets, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin during a televised meeting. The strikes were launched using precise long range missiles, reports CNN.  

Shoigu claimed that the targets were destroyed and there were no civilian casualties. It denied claims that the strikes have mainly hit non-IS targets. 

Meanwhile, Syrian troops have launched an offensive under Russian air cover, Syrian officials said, according to BBC.    

Wednesday’s strike appears to mark closer military cooperation between Russia and its staunch ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  The air campaign by Russia began on 30 September.

Russian naval landing ship Saratov sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey. NATO on Tuesday rejected Moscow's explanation that its warplanes violated the air space of alliance member Turkey at the weekend by mistake and said Russia was sending more ground troops to Syria and building up its naval presence. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters

Even as Russia said it was willing to cooperate with the United States in carrying out attacks in Syria, Defence Secretary Ash Carter called the airstrikes a "fundamental mistake."

Carter said that coalition forces fighting the IS will not co-operate with Russia.

"We believe Russia has the wrong strategy," he said. "They continue to hit targets that are not IS.  We believe this is a fundamental mistake.”

Watch the Russian defence ministry video of the strikes, here


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