MOSCOW Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu stated on Tuesday that Russia had for the initial time struck Islamic State targets in Syria with missiles fired from a submarine in the Mediterranean.
“The targets have been two large terrorist positions in the territory of Raqqa,” Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin in a televised meeting, adding that the Calibre missiles had been fired from the submarine Rostov-on-Don.
“We can say with total self-confidence that relatively significant harm was accomplished to weapons stores and a factory for preparing mines and, naturally, oil infrastructure.”
Shoigu mentioned Russia had informed Israel and the United States in advance of its program to launch missiles from a submarine.
He mentioned that, over the previous three days, Russia’s air force had flown far more than 300 sorties more than Syria and struck more than 600 targets of numerous varieties.
Russian bombers flying over Syria had been being accompanied by fighter jets, as Putin had ordered, he added.
Russia started intervening straight in Syria’s civil war at the end of September with air strikes in assistance of its ally, President Bashar al-Assad.
But the intervention has had unintended consequences, notably when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that it mentioned had strayed into Turkish airspace, an allegation that Russia denies.
Shoigu presented the flight recorder of the downed jet to Putin at the meeting.
Putin thanked Russian particular services and Syrian government troops for recovering it, and mentioned it would allow specialists to determine exactly where exactly the Russian plane was located when it was hit. He mentioned it need to be opened only in the presence of international professionals, “to cautiously document every thing”.
(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Anton Zverev Editing by Kevin Liffey)