Russian naval vessels fire cruise missiles at ISIS targets in Syria

Russia fires cruise missiles from the Mediterranean to hit IS targets in Syria, according to the Russian Defence Ministry.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken a tough stance against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken a tough stance against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - A Russian warship and submarine have fired cruise missiles at Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets around Palmyra in Syria from the Mediterranean, Moscow said on Wednesday (May 31), the first such strikes announced in months.

The frigate Admiral Essen and submarine Krasnodar carried out four strikes against military hardware and fighters from the Islamist group who had left its de-facto capital Raqqa, the Russian military said in a statement.

"All the targets were hit," the statement said, without specifying when the strikes happened.

Moscow said that the US, Turkish and Israeli military "were informed in a timely manner of the missile launches through existing communication channels".

President Vladimir Putin was briefed on the successful strikes by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, the Kremlin said.

Russia has been conducting a bombing campaign since 2015 in support of Syrian President 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 rebels.

ISIS is not included in the ceasefire.