Video by Russian Ministry of Defense / YouTube
Russia's Caspian Flotilla ships launched sea-based missiles upon 11 targets belonging to the extremist group Islamic State in Syria on Oct. 7 morning, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin.
"This morning we engaged Caspian Flotilla ships. Four missile-carrying ships carried out 26 launches of sea-based cruise missiles upon 11 [Islamic State] targets in Syria," Shoigu said at a meeting with Putin on Oct. 7, a report of which was shown on the Rossiya-1 television channel.
"Readout data indicate that all the targets have been destroyed and no civilians were harmed. The strike's results have confirmed the high efficiency of the missiles used at large distances of nearly 1,500 kilometers," Shoigu said.
Putin said the shelling of Islamic State militants in Syria from the Caspian shows the good level of the Russian defense industry and the military.
"The fact that we fired precision-guided weapons from the Caspian Sea from a distance of 1,500 km and hit all the set targets proves the good standing of our defense industry enterprises and the high grounding level of the military personnel," he said.
The Russian Defense Ministry has aslo published on Youtube a video of a massive air strike at ISIS infrastructure facilities on the territory of Syria.
"The functions of the flagship of the surface action group were fulfilled by the missile ship Dagestan (Project 11661), which has a full displacement of some 2,000 tonnes and is over 100 meters long. The ship is armed with a modern high-precision missile system Kalibr NK. Kalibr NK cruise missiles fly at an altitude of up to fifty meters bypassing the relief," the Defense Ministry said in a report.
The missile ship Dagestan is capable of fulfilling missions at a distance of 4,000 km from its base.
The small missile ships Grad Sviyazhsk, Uglich, Velikiy Ustyug (Project 21631) have a displacement of some 1,000 tonnes and are over seventy meters long. The main missile strike system of Project 21631 ships is the high-precision missile system Kalibr NK, which is capable of effectively hitting targets at any time of the day in difficult weather conditions.
According to military expert and editor-in-chief of the Arsenal Otechestva (Arsenal of the Fatherland) magazine Viktor Murakhovsky, the Kaliber missiles that were used belong to the class of medium and long-range missiles.
"Normally they have a range of 1,600 kilometers and 2,600 kilometers when carrying a nuclear warhead," said Murakhovsky.
He also noted that the launching of Russian missiles does not contradict the INF Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles (from 500 to 5,500 kilometers) since the agreement signed by the Soviet and American leaders in 1987 is valid only for ground-based missiles and does not affect missile weapons launched from ships and submarines.
According to Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, otherwise the U.S. would have had serious problems using its Tomahawk missiles in its military campaigns of the last two decades.
Parallel to the news about Russian missile strikes there has been information on the beginning of a large-scale ground offensive by the Syrian army. Russian journalists working in Syria say that the assault began in Hama province: Syrian troops are moving north, towards the city of Idlib.
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