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Russian warships in missile strikes against IS in Syria

Published 07/10/2015

Russian warships are targeting Isis in Syria (AP)
Russian warships are targeting Isis in Syria (AP)

Russia is using warships in the Caspian Sea to target Islamic State in Syria, defence minister Sergei Shoigu said.

Russia last week began carrying out air strikes in Syria in what it said was a pre-emptive operation against terrorism in the Middle East.

Mr Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin in televised remarks that Russia on Wednesday morning carried out 26 missile strikes from four warships of its Caspian Sea flotilla.

Mr Shoigu insisted the operation destroyed all the targets and did not launch any strikes upon civilian areas.

US defence secretary Ash Carter said the US-led coalition has not agreed to co-operate with Russia in the fight against IS and no collaboration is possible as long as Moscow continues to strike other targets.

He said the US will conduct basic, technical talks with Russia about efforts to ensure that flights over Syria are conducted safely, and: "That's it."

The US, Mr Carter said, is not prepared to co-operate with a strategy of Russia's that is "tragically flawed".

"They continue to hit targets that are not Isil," Mr Carter said, using an acronym for IS. "We believe that is a fundamental mistake."

Mr Carter said he is concerned about the Syrian ground offensive that began on Wednesday backed by Russian airpower.

Russia, which backs Syrian president Bashar Assad, has hit Western-backed rebels fighting Assad. The US maintains that the only route to peace in Syria is to remove Assad from power.

A Russian SU-24M jet fighter takes off from an airbase Hmeimim in Syria (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
A Russian SU-24M jet fighter takes off from an airbase Hmeimim in Syria (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
In this photo taken from Russian Defense Ministry official website on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, a Russian SU-34 bomber taxies at an air base Hmeimim in Syria. A spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry has rejected claims that Russia in its airstrikes in Syria is targeting civilians or opposition forces. (AP Photo/ Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)
In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, two Russian SU-25 ground attack aircrafts take off from an airbase Hmeimim in Syria. A spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry has rejected claims that Russia in its airstrikes in Syria is targeting civilians or opposition forces. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
In this photo taken from Russian Defense Ministry official website on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, a Russian SU-24M jet fighter prepares to take off from an airbase Hmeimim in Syria. A spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry has rejected claims that Russia in its airstrikes in Syria is targeting civilians or opposition forces. (AP Photo/ Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)
A picture taken on October 5, 2015 shows Russian air force pilots and technicians checking a Russian Sukhoi Su-30 jet fighter at the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. AFP PHOTO / KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA / ALEXANDER KOTS *RUSSIA OUT*ALEXANDER KOTS/AFP/Getty Images
In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 a bomb is released from Russian Su-24M jet fighter in Syria. NATO strongly criticized the Russian air campaign in Syria that began Wednesday. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
A picture taken on October 3, 2015 shows Russian air force technicians checking a Russian Su-34 fighter bomber at the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. AFP PHOTO / KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA / ALEXANDER KOTS *RUSSIA OUT*ALEXANDER KOTS/AFP/Getty Images
A picture taken on October 5, 2015 shows Russian air force pilots and technicians checking a Russian Sukhoi Su-30 jet fighter at the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. AFP PHOTO / KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA / ALEXANDER KOTS *RUSSIA OUT*ALEXANDER KOTS/AFP/Getty Images
A picture taken on October 3, 2015 shows a Russian army pilot leaving the cockpit of a Russian Sukhoi SU-25 ground attack aircraft at the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. AFP PHOTO / KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA / ALEXANDER KOTS *RUSSIA OUT*ALEXANDER KOTS/AFP/Getty Images
A picture taken on October 3, 2015 shows a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 bomber taking off from the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. AFP PHOTO / KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA / ALEXANDER KOTS *RUSSIA OUT*ALEXANDER KOTS/AFP/Getty Images
A picture taken on October 3, 2015 shows a Russian Sukhoi SU-30 SM jet fighter standing on a runway at the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. AFP PHOTO / KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA / ALEXANDER KOTS *RUSSIA OUT*ALEXANDER KOTS/AFP/Getty Images
An image grab made from a video released by the Russian Defence Ministry on October 5, 2015 reportedly shows a Russian aircraft dropping bombs during an airstrike against Islamic State (IS) group's positions at an undisclosed location in Syria. Russia has launched air strikes on Syria, saying its intervention is against the jihadist IS group, while Turkey and its allies say it is targeting moderate regime opponents. AFP PHOTO / HO / RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS-/AFP/Getty Images
A picture taken on October 3, 2015 shows Russian Sukhoi SU-30 SM jet fighters landing on a runway at the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. AFP PHOTO / KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA / ALEXANDER KOTS *RUSSIA OUT*ALEXANDER KOTS/AFP/Getty Images
This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 shows an attack made from a fighter jet in Syria. Russian Defense Ministry describes the incident as an airstrike against an ISIS ammunition depot near Talbiseh settlement (Homs). The object is completely destroyed. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, an aerial view of a bomb explosion in Syria. According to information released by the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian aircraft have carried out 20 sorties in Syria in the past 24 hours. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)
In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, an aerial view of a bomb explosion in Syria. According to information released by the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian aircraft have carried out 20 sorties in Syria in the past 24 hours. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)
In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, an aerial view of a bomb explosion in Syria. According to information released by the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian aircraft have carried out 20 sorties in Syria in the past 24 hours. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

Russia on Tuesday informed the US that Moscow is willing to continue talks to ensure that the two countries' aircraft do not interfere with each other, US officials said. But a Russian defence official said the talks should be much broader than what the Pentagon is seeking.

Britain's UN ambassador said Russia's military actions in Syria are strengthening IS by strengthening Syrian president Bashar Assad and forcing much of Syria's Sunni population "into the arms" of the extremist group.

Matthew Rycroft told a group of reporters that "Russia's military action is a significant escalation of this crisis".

He said that while the Russians say they are attacking IS extremists, anyone looking at a map of their strikes can see that most "are against what we consider the moderate opposition to Assad, the very people that we need to be part of the future of Syria".

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