Russia launches cruise missile strikes against Syrian rebels

RUSSIAN warships have launched cruise missile strikes against insurgent targets in Syria, as Vladimir Putin's warplanes went into action again in support of a major ground offensive launched by regime troops.

Mr Putin and his defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said the strikes targeted Islamic State militants, with the president stressing the need for cooperation with a US-led coalition.

Russian efforts "will be synchronised with the actions of the Syrian army on the ground and the actions of our air force will effectively support the offensive operation of the Syrian army", Mr Putin said at a televised a meeting with Mr Shoigu.

"In addition to the air force, four warships of the Caspian flotilla have been involved," Mr Shoigu said, adding that the warships had carried out 26 cruise missile strikes against 11 targets.

The missiles were launched by warships in the Caspian Sea, and Russia said they passed over Iran and Iraq to reach their targets, covering what Mr Shoigu described as a distance of almost 1,500 km.

Read more at ABC News Online.



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