The Russian navy launched cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean against Daesh targets in the Syrian city of Palmyra, Russia's Defense Ministry said yesterday.
The strike, which Russian news agencies said was the first of its kind since November, was carried out by the frigate "Admiral Essen" and the submarine "Krasnodar," and targeted militants and equipment in an area east of Palmyra. The defense ministry said the hardware and forces struck had previously been deployed by Daesh in Raqqa. "All targets were destroyed," it said in a statement. Russia had warned the United States, Turkey and Israel before launching the missiles, the ministry said.
It did not say when the strike took place, but Russian news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had personally told President Vladimir Putin about the military action late on Tuesday. The last time Russia fired Kalibr cruise missiles from its ships at militant targets in Syria was in November last year, the RIA news agency said.
Russia has been conducting a bombing campaign since 2015 in support of Bashar al-Assad and has a naval contingent deployed to the eastern Mediterranean to bolster its firepower. Moscow has, however, not announced any strikes from the sea in recent months as it focuses on pushing a fragile truce between the government and opposition.