Russia has hit targets in Syria with cruise missiles launched for the first time from a submarine in a submerged position in the Mediterranean Sea, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday.
Kalibr cruise missiles launched from the Rostov-on-Don submarine hit “two large terrorist positions” in Raqqa, Shoigu told Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the Kremlin.
Raqqa is a city in northern Syria that the Islamic State have proclaimed as their headquarters. The Islamic State is a terrorist organization banned in Russia.
Previously, the Rostov-on-Don submarine had been “firing” from surface positions in northern waters, Shoigu said, according to a transcript of the meeting released by the Kremlin.
Russia said it had also struck targets in Syria with 26 missiles launched in October from warships in the Caspian Sea.
The latest round of air strikes also involved Tu-22 bombers, lifting off from a base in Russia to perform 60 sorties over the past three days, Shoigu told Putin.
“We can say with complete confidence that rather serious damage has been inflicted on ordnance storage facilities, factories producing various types of mines, and, naturally, on oil infrastructure,” the defense minister said.
Russian warplanes have also been flying from the Khmeimim airbase near Latakia in Syria, he said.
The Russian Defense Ministry had notified Israel and the U.S. about the missile strikes before launching them, Shoigu said.
Putin praised the air strikes and pointed out that Kalibr missiles “can carry conventional warheads, as well as special warheads — that is, nuclear ones.”
“Naturally, none of that is needed in fighting terrorists [and] I hope, will never be needed,” he added.