Russia fires missiles at IS fighters in Syria

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A Russian warship and a submarine have fired four cruise missiles at an Islamic State base in Syria. reports citing Skynews.

The missiles were launched from the Mediterranean by the Admiral Essen frigate and the Krasnodar submarine.

They targeted IS fighters and weapons near Palmyra, the defence ministry said in a statement.

It said the operation was successful and had taken out a group which had moved to the ancient city from the IS stronghold of Raqqa, the terrorists' de facto capital in Syria.

Moscow warned the United States, Turkey and Israel ahead of the assault.

It added the attack was promptly executed following the order, paying testimony to the Russian navy's high readiness and capabilities.

However, it did not specify exactly when the bombing took place.

Syrian troops backed by Russian airstrikes captured Palmyra in March last year and Moscow even flew in St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra to play a concert among the ruins of the city to celebrate the ousting of IS.

Islamic State fighters, however, recaptured the UNESCO world heritage site eight months later before being driven out again by Syrian government troops in March this year.

Fighting around Palmyra has continued since.

The attack comes just weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump discussed Syria and defeating IS.

The talks were held at a time of strained relations between Moscow and Washington after Mr Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian government airbase from where a deadly chemical attack was launched.

The chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April, which UK tests showed to be sarin gas, left more than 80 people dead, many of them children.

In response, the US leader gave orders to fire 59 cruise missiles at the Sharyat military base, southeast of Homs.

The US held the Damascus regime responsible for the atrocity, while Russia sided with its ally, Syrian President Bashar al Assad, and blamed the attack on rebel forces.

2017.05.31 / 21:59
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