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Published in Press Stream:
November 17, 2015

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Published in Stream:
November 17, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russia Fires Cruise Missiles In Syria As Kremlin Admits Metrojet Brought Down By Terrorism
5 years
Stream: November 17, 2015
Publication: Putin in Syria
Russia Transporting Iraqi Militias To Fight In Syria
Russia has launched cruise missiles on the same day that, after weeks of dodging the question, the Kremlin has finally come out today and said that Metrojet flight 9268 was brought down by terrorism on October 31.

Russia Update: Kremlin Finally Admits Metrojet Flight Was Downed By Bomb

The Kremlin has finally admitted what other governments and experts have been saying for weeks - that the Metrojet flight downed over the Sinai on October 31 was destroyed by a bomb. FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov told President Putin during a for-camera briefing that traces of explosives had been found among the wreckage.

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Nov 17, 2015 18:53 (GMT)

Reuters reports that the United States received notice that Russia was launching a "significant number" of attacks on Al Raqqah, the ISIS stronghold in eastern Syria, but the US stressed that it is not cooperating with Russia:

"The Russians did provide us notice prior to conducting these strikes, via the Coalition Combined Air Operations Center in Qatar," the defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Independent has more details:

The French daily Le Monde cited senior French government officials as saying Russian missiles had struck Isis positions in Raqqa, its de facto capital in its Syrian territories.

According to reports, Russian officials gave their US counterparts notice ahead of the strikes, in a sign of closer cooperation between the two states after talks between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama at the G20 summit.

Videos and pictures on social media confirm that cruise missiles have been used today.

According to the Russian propaganda outlet RT, Russia used missiles launched from both naval vessels and long-range strategic bombers. Evidence analyzed by weapons experts seems to confirm that bombers were used.

The independent business daily RBC reports that a Russian submarine was used to launch cruise missiles for the first time (translated by The Interpreter):

The Russian diesel and electric submarine Rostov-on-Don, en route from the Northern Fleet to Novorossiysk launched Caliber cruise missiles from the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea at targets on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa, capital of the Islamic State (ISIS), banned in Russia, a source close to the Defense Ministry told

The results of the strikes are now being analyzed with the use of air and space reconnaissance. According to the source, the strike was delivered after Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed that strikes be stepped up on the terrorists in connection with their involvement in the Russian Metrojet Airbus A321 crash in Egypt.

The targets of the strikes from the Rostov-on-Don were training bases, headquarters, weapons and ammunition depots, as well as deployment areas of detachments of fighters. The strike was made not by ballistic trajectory but by grazing fire at a height of a few kilometers in order to avoid incidents due to increased ship traffic in the Mediterranean.

The launch from the Rostov-on-Don was the first case of the use of cruise missiles from a submarine on targets of a real enemy in the history of the armed forces of Russia, said the source.

-- James Miller, Catherine A. Fitzpatrick