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War of Words

Russia denies accidentally landing missiles in Iran instead of Syria

US officials say Russian missiles missed Syria. The Russians are having none of it.

russiamissiles Russian Defence Ministry Russian Defence Ministry

RUSSIA’S DEFENCE MINISTRY has tonight denied claims that four Russian cruise missiles aimed at targets in Syria instead crashed in Iran.

A US official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, said the missiles landed in Iran yesterday, but did not provide details about where they might have landed or whether they caused any damage.

Nor would the official say exactly what type of cruise missiles went down, except to say that they were among a salvo fired yesterday from Russian warships in the Caspian Sea.

The Russian Defence Ministry posted this video on its website showing the launch of 26 missiles, with a graph of their flight over Iran and Iraq before striking inside Syria, adding:

The cruise missiles hit all the assigned targets. The deviation from aims during the long-range engagement did not exceed 3 metres.

Минобороны России / YouTube

Russia has been conducting air strikes in Syria in defense of the embattled regime of President Bashar al-Assad since 30 September.

The missile launches were in support of a major ground offensive by the Syrian army on several fronts in the war-torn country’s west.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday deplored the fact that Russian warships fired the cruise missiles “without warning.”

However, Russian Defence spokesperson, General Igor Konashenkov, tonight hit back against his American counterparts, telling state-owned news agency Sputnik:

No matter how unpleasant and unexpected for our colleagues in the Pentagon and Langley was yesterday’s high-precision strike on Islamic State infrastructure in Syria, the fact remains that all missiles launched from our ships have found their targets.

Contains reporting by AFP.

Read: Assad’s army starts ground campaign backed by Russian air strikes>

Read: Russia warned ‘indiscriminate bombing’ of non-Isis targets will fuel extremism>

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