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Russia Strikes ISIS Targets in Syria -- WSJ

24 Jun 2017 6:32 am
By Thomas Grove 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the US print edition of The Wall Street Journal (June 24, 2017).

MOSCOW -- Russian armed forces launched a cruise-missile attack on Islamic State targets in Syria's Hama province, the defense ministry said Friday.

The defense ministry statement said the Kalibr cruise missiles struck infrastructure used to store weapons and ammunition for militants coming from Raqqa, where the U.S. seeks to squeeze the group out of the urban stronghold.

Russia said it had been monitoring Islamic State militants escaping from Raqqa to the south over the past week. The six missiles were launched from Russia's permanent naval grouping in the east Mediterranean.

"Remains of the terrorists and the IS terrorist infrastructure were destroyed by Russian Air Force's bomber air strikes," the statement said.

Russia said it had informed Turkey and Israel of its attack plans before launching strikes. It was unclear whether Russia had informed the U.S. of the plans through a special military channel used to ensure the countries' planes operate safely in the airspace over Syria.

Russia said earlier this week after U.S. jet fighters downed a Syrian war plane that it would pull out of a cooperation agreement that sets out the use of the deconfliction line.

U.S. officials have said that line has stayed open despite Russian threats. In response to the U.S. strike on the Syrian aircraft, Russia also promised to track U.S. and coalition aircraft in Syria as targets.

Both Russia and the U.S. have stepped up their attacks on IS, though the U.S. has had its attention diverted by a series of recent confrontations with forces backing the Syrian government.

Write to Thomas Grove at thomas.grove@wsj.com
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 24, 2017 02:32 ET (06:32 GMT)

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