Russian Defense Minister said his country targeted ISIL positions for first time in Syria with Kalibr land-attack cruise missiles launched from a submarine in the Mediterranean Sea.
The 3M-54 Kalibr missiles were launched from the Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine “Rostov-on-Don”, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
The Kalibr cruise missile is an updated version of a missile that has been in Russian service since 2012, according to online sources. With a range of roughly 1,000 miles or more and small enough to be carried by submarines and small warships, the weapon is changing the calculus of the reach and effectiveness of smaller naval combatants.
Russia’s warships based in the Caspian and Mediterranean seas launched similar missiles targeting ISIL Takfiri group (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant) positions in late November. This is the first time that Russia has targeted ISIL in Syria from a submarine.
“[The missiles] targeted two major terrorist positions in the territory of Raqqa,” he said.
“We can say with absolute confidence that significant damage has been inflicted upon ammunition warehouses and a mine production plant, as well as the oil infrastructure.”
Earlier on Tuesday, a source within the Russian Ministry of Defense revealed that the Rostov-on-Don, equipped with modern Russian Kalibr cruise missiles, had appeared near the Syrian coast.
Shoigu stated that in the past three days Russian Air Forces have carried out over 300 sorties hitting 600 terrorist targets.
“In the past three days, the operation involved Tu-22 planes as well as warplanes from the Khmeimim airbase. In total we carried out 300 sorties and hit 600 various targets,” he said adding that all sorties were performed with the backing of Su-30 fighter jets.
Speaking to the president, Shoigu also said that the flight recorder of the Russian Su-24, recently downed by Turkey near the Syrian-Turkish border, has been found and presented it to Putin.
Putin told Shoigu that it should be opened only in the presence of international experts.