Post link 10 October 2015, 6:14
Russia Denies Four Syria-Bound Missiles Crashed in Iran
A screenshot from a video released by the Russian Defence Ministry that it said shows missiles being launched from warships in the Caspian Sea.Russian Ministry of Defence

By Conor Gaffey 10/9/15 at 8:02 AM

Russia has denied claims that four cruise missiles fired at rebel targets in Syria went astray and crashed in northern Iran, The New York Times reported.

Moscow launched a barrage of 26 Kalibr cruise missiles on Wednesday from warships in the Caspian Sea. Two U.S. officials reportedly claimed that four of the missiles crashed in Iran and that, based on intelligence reports, they believed that buildings were damaged and civilians may have been hurt.

It is still unclear exactly where the missiles landed, though the flight path of the Kalibr missiles—which have not been used before in combat conditions, a U.S. official told The New York Times—would have involved them crossing over northern sections of Iran and Iraq into Syria.

Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, denied the reports and claimed that all 26 missiles had hit their intended targets, which he said were bases of the militant group ISIS. Konashenkov sarcastically commented that if the reports were true, "We would have to admit that the sites of the terrorist group Islamic State in Syria, located far apart from one another, just blew up on their own."

Hamidreza Taraghi, an Iranian official close to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told The New York Times that the reports were "complete nonsense."

Russia is supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by targeting rebel groups in Syria, while the U.S. has consistently urged Moscow to focus on hitting ISIS targets.

At a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned that Russia will "begin to suffer from casualties" from reprisal attacks directed against Moscow's intervention in Syria, The Guardian reported. Dozens of clerics in Saudi Arabia, a fierce opponent of the Assad regime, have already issued a call to jihad against Russian troops.

Russian officials condemned Carter's comments. Posting on Facebook, the Russian Ministry of Defense said, "In its assessments of the American military's actions in various operations, carried out all around the world, representatives of the Russian Ministry of Defense not once stooped as low as publicly awaiting the death of an American soldier."
Topic edited 1 times, last edit by RouTe, 10 October 2015, 6:16  

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