Russian Missiles Target IS in Syria from Caspian SeaOctober 7, 2015 in Russia
Russia has indicated that it has launched rocket strikes on Islamic State (IS) group targets in Syria from warships in the Caspian Sea, located about 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) away.
According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, four warhips fired 26 sea-based cruise missiles on 11 targets, destroying them and casusing no civilian casualties. Meanwhile Syrian offficials have disclosed that Syrian ground roops have launched an offensive under Russian air cover. It appears to be the first co-ordinated offensive since the air campaign by Russia, which is a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, began on 30 September.
Russia has also denied claims that its week of strikes have mainly hit non-IS targets. While Russia has indicated that it is targeting “all terrorists,” at least some of its air strikes have reportedly hit civilians and Western-backed rebels. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported earlier this week that “the most intense fighting in months” in Hama and Idlib provinces, adding that the clashes followed a wave of Russian air strikes in the same areas. US Defence Secretary Ash Carter has reported that coalition forces fighting IS in Syria would not co-operate with Russia, indicating that “we believe Russia has the wrong strategy…They continue to hit targets that are not IS. We believe this is a fundamental mistake.”