Russia Fires Cruise Missiles at ISIS Targets in Syria

Strikes Hit Heavy Weapons Positions Near Palmyra

Russian forces have fired a flurry of cruise missiles from a warship stationed in the Mediterranean Sea at ISIS forces‘ positions near the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The reports are that the strikes focused on heavy weapons positions on the city’s outskirts.

Russia says that they believe all of the missiles hit their intended target. The Russian Defense Ministry apparently informed the US, Turkey, and Israel in advance of the attack. The use of cruise missiles by Russia is not unprecedented in Syria, though it is unusual, as they’ve tended to use airstrikes instead.

There was no specific word on why they used cruise missiles in this case, though they have tended to use such strikes in cases where they were attacking particularly hardened targets that might survive an airstrike.

ISIS has been a recurring problem in and around Palmyra, having captured the city twice in recent years, before eventually being repelled back to the outskirts. With Syria eager to establish a land link between their forces and Shi’ite militias in Iraq, Russia may be trying to soften up the ISIS forces clearly in the way of that route.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of