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  • The Russian missile cruiser Moskva patrols in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria.

    The Russian missile cruiser Moskva patrols in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria. | Photo: AFP

Published 23 June 2017

Russia continues to offer major support to Syrian government efforts to eliminate Islamic State group terrorists operating within its borders.

Russia launched six Kalibr cruise missiles toward key targets of the so-called Islamic State group in Syria, according to the Russian Defense Ministry on Friday.

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Strategic Islamic State group command centers, and a large ammunition depot were the primary targets of the strikes, which the press release said “detonated with the precision of a surgeon.”

Immediately following the Kalibr cruise missile attacks, follow up airstrikes took out any remaining targets.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has said that they notified the militaries of Turkey and Israel about the attacks prior to carrying them out through military-to-military hotlines.

The missiles were fired from Russian Navy ships and a submarine in the eastern Mediterranean, the same ships that took out a large Islamic State group convoy in May.

According to the Russian military, which has been monitering the region with surveillance, Islamic State group militants have been moving into the rugged terrain around the Syrian city of Palmyra as they attempt to establish bases and ammunition depots outside of Raqqa, which is currently under siege.

Russian military sources recently claimed that airstrikes carried out by their forces had killed Islamic State group leader al-Baghdadi, although the claim is contested.

The recent strikes and military support from Russia against the Islamic State group has been a major support for the Syrian government's efforts to eradicate terrorist groups from their borders. In spite of the United States also leading a coalition against the terrorist group as well, the U.S. has simultaneously been engaged in conflict with so-called "pro-regime" forces of the Syrian government, as well as supporting actors Russia and Iran.

The often dubious and unclear U.S. strategy in the region, which backs various opposing interests and actively attacks the Syrian and Russian forces that have made substantial gains against the Islamic State group's advance, has been criticized by Russian military sources as "absolutely illegal."

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