Russia fires cruise missiles at IS stronghold in east Syria
ABOARD THE ADMIRAL ESSEN » Russia’s military fired seven cruise missiles Thursday at Islamic State targets in the eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour as pro-government forces closed in on the militants holed up in the provincial capital of the same name.
Journalists, on a trip organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, watched from Russia’s Admiral Essen frigate in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air cover, last week broke a three-year siege around the city on the Euphrates river.
Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said later that intelligence showed the missiles hit the targets southeast of Deir el-Zour, destroying a command center, a communications hub, an ammunition depot and an unspecified number of IS fighters.
Russia has provided military backing for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces since 2015.