Russia launches naval bombardment in Syria
Russia launched a naval bombardment Wednesday of ISIS
targets in Syria, a senior Russian official said, ramping up a
newly muscular presence in the Middle East.
Four Russian ships fired 26 missiles into Syria, hitting 11
targets, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told
President Vladimir Putin during a televised meeting.
Shoigu said the strikes were launched from the Caspian Sea
using precise long-range missiles that flew 1,500 kilometers
(930 miles) to their targets.
Wednesday also appeared to mark new and closer military
cooperation between Russia and the embattled Syrian
regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia and Syria launched coordinated attacks Wednesday
on Islamist factions in towns in Hama and Idlib provinces in
western Syria, with the Syrian shelling apparently conducted
in concert with Russian airstrikes, according to an
Russia’s primary goal is propping up al-Assad rather than
Even as its ships and warplanes conducted fresh strikes,
Russia said it was willing to cooperate with the United
States in carrying out attacks in Syria.
However, speaking to reporters in Rome, U.S. Defense
Secretary Ashton Carter called the Russian campaign of
airstrikes in Syria a “fundamental mistake.” He said the
United States was not ready to cooperate with Russia on
operations in Syria.
And yet Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov
appeared to indicate Wednesday that cooperation was in the
intelligence the U.S.-led coalition had obtained against ISIS,
and he called on all sides to share targeting
A ministry spokesman, quoted by Russia’s Tass news
agency, said the ministry responded to a Pentagon request.
It then “swiftly considered” the U.S. proposals to