On Thursday, US officials said that four Russian missiles that had been fired off from the Caspian Sea landed in a rural area of Iran, falling short of their Syrian target. These errant missiles were part of the 26 long range cruise missiles that had been launched by the Russians from ships in the Caspian Sea a day before. The officials who revealed this information did not wish to be identified as they didn’t have the authority to discuss matters of intelligence. Kalibir cruise missiles were fired by the Russians, which hadn’t been used in combat conditions. The missiles went over Iraq and Iran.
According to a US official, there had been no detection of any damage or casualties from this strike so there were chances that they had simply fallen harmlessly in Iran’s rural areas. This is just another development in the Russian actions and the growing concerns about them. Airstrikes have been launched by the Russians in Syria as they claim to be attacking terrorists. Russia has been accused by Washington and its allies of trying to establish the regime of Bashar Assad, Syrian President. On Thursday, Ashton Carter, the Defense Secretary warned Russia that its continued military campaign in Syria would lead to consequences.
He said that they would also have to bear with casualties in the near future. A large scare military operation was launched in northwestern and central part of Syria by the country’s troops in response to the sea-based cruise missiles and airstrikes launched by Russia. The top general of the Syrian nation said that the aim of the operation was to get rid of terrorists in the area. The chief of staff of the Syrian Army, General Ali Ayoub didn’t discuss the target locations of the new operation, but said that new fighting units had been created for carrying out the campaign.
Most of the fighting was focused in the rural regions of Latakia, Hama and Idlib provinces where the Army of Conquest is said to be based. This is a bunch of rebel groups including Nusra Front, which is linked to Al-Qaeda. The presence of the Islamic State in western Hama is limited, but the Syrian Army does has a more prominent position. In a televised address, which is quite rare, Ayoub said that their combat capabilities had been reduced de to Russian airstrikes against terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State, but the Syrian Army was organizing proper units and operations.
It was reported by Reuters that Russian defense ministry was claiming that the cruise missiles they launched from the ships in the Caspian Sea destroyed arm dumps, weapon factories, training camps and command centers that were supporting the Islamic State. The Russian officials claimed that the northwest province of Idlib and Aleppo and Raqqa in the north had been hit by the 26 missiles where the Islamic State is known to have a strong position and Nusra Front has a presence. The US believes that the Russian campaign is directed at rebels against Assad and not the Islamic State.