The Guardian reports: “I recommend you to look in that direction,” said Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov with a smile, gesturing at the Mediterranean waters from aboard the Admiral Essen naval frigate.
Moments later, two whooshes of noise and smoke heralded the launch of seven cruise missiles by two submarines from Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
The Kalibr missiles, each with a half-tonne payload, hit Islamic State targets to the south-east of Deir ez-Zor around midday on Thursday, roughly an hour after launch, Konashenkov said. The town is a key strategic outpost in eastern Syria, where the Islamist fighters are in retreat. Opposition activists later said that at least 39 civilians were killed in airstrikes by Russian and US-backed coalition forces across the country.
Viewing the missile launch was the latest element of a tour for a group of Russian and foreign journalists, including the Guardian, of Russian activities in Syria, designed to show that Moscow is in control of both war and the peace in the country. [Continue reading…]