Russia Fires Missiles From Mediterranean at IS in Syria

Russia Fires Missiles From Mediterranean at IS in SyriaRussia Fires Missiles From Mediterranean at IS in Syria

Russia has fired cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea on positions of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, the Defense Ministry said on Friday, Moscow’s latest show of strength in the conflict wracking the Mideast country.

The ministry said in a statement that two frigates and a submarine launched six cruise missiles on IS installations in Syria’s Hama Province, destroying command centers and ammunition depots. It did not say when the missiles were launched, ABC News reported.

Moscow has fired missiles from the Mediterranean at militants’ positions in Syria before, including launches from a submarine and a frigate in May at the targets in the area of the ancient city of Palmyra.

Russia is one of the strongest backers of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and has been carrying airstrikes in the country since September 2015.

Separately on Friday, a senior Russian lawmaker said Moscow is “nearly 100%” sure that the top IS leader was killed in a Russian airstrike last month.

The Defense Ministry first made the claim last week, saying that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death in the May 28 strike on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa was still “being verified through various channels.”

Viktor Ozerov, the head of the defense and security committee at the upper chamber of the Russian Parliament, told Interfax news agency on Friday that Russia’s intelligence about al-Baghdadi’s death is “nearly 100%” certain.

“Russia would not want to be on the list of the countries that have said before that he was killed and then al-Baghdadi would resurrect,” Ozerov added.

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