Russia informs Turkey, fires cruise missiles at Syria
MOSCOW - Agence France-PresseTwo Russian warships and a submarine in the Mediterranean have fired missiles at Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria, the defense ministry said on June 23.
It said that Turkish and Israeli military “were informed in a timely manner of the missile launches through communication channels,” but it did not mention the United States.
Russia suspended its communication channel with the U.S. about military operations in Syria from June 19 after a U.S. jet shot down a Syrian warplane on June 18, with Moscow accusing Washington of failing to issue a warning.
The defense ministry said in a statement that Russia’s Admiral Essen and Admiral Grigorovich warships and the Krasnodar submarine in the eastern Mediterranean fired six Kalibr missiles at command centers and weapons stores in Syria’s Hama region.
“As a result of the surprise mass missile strike, command points were destroyed and also large stores of weapons and ammunition of the ISIL terrorists in the area of Aqirbat in the Hama province,” it said.
The ministry added that Russian planes then carried out aerial strikes that “destroyed the remainder of the ISIL fighters and their facilities.”
The most recent such strikes were announced by the ministry on May 31, aimed at targets around Palmyra.
The defense ministry on June 23 said that ISIL this week has been moving forces into Hama province under cover of night and using large buildings there as command points and weapons stores. It said this was part of attempts to move out from Raqqa towards Palmyra.