Russia has stepped up its barrage on Syrian rebels with its first submarine-launched cruise missile strikes combined with bombing raids from the air. The country’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed the strikes had been launched from the submarines, progressing on from firing from warships the Caspian Sea.
‘We used Calibre cruise missiles from the Rostov-on-Don submarine from the Mediterranean Sea,’ Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin during an encounter broadcast on state television.
Combined with continuing air strikes, he claimed his military had struck ‘300 targets of different kinds’ in the past three days and helped Syrian special forces recover the black box of a Russian warplane downed by Turkey last month.
It is believed the cruise missiles, launched from submarines, can travel as far as 1,500 miles at low altitude to attack enemy strongholds. Shoigu added that Russian strikes launched yesterday had been aimed at ‘two terrorist strongholds’ around Raqqa, the de facto Syrian capital of the Islamic State jihadist group.