US claims four Russian cruise missiles fell short of Syria, hit Iran

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On Wednesday, four Russian navy ships in the Caspian Sea launched a barrage of 26 cruise missiles against targets Russian officials claimed to be “important militant facilities” of the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS). The missiles flew over northwest Iran and the Kurdish territory of Iraq before striking their targets in Syria, according to a Russian defense ministry spokesperson. However, according to US officials, four of the 26 missiles didn’t make the full trip—instead falling in Iran. Both Russia and Iran deny that four missiles fell in Iran.

The strike was conducted with Kalibr 3M-14T cruise missiles (designated by NATO as the SS-N-30A). These inertial-guided, rocket-boosted turbofan cruise missiles have a range of up to 1,500 miles while carrying a 990-pound warhead. The missiles followed a flight path of over 700 miles before striking targets in Syria; Russian defense ministry officials claim they have an accuracy of within three meters. Brought into service in 2012, the Kalibr and its export Klub variants are roughly on par with the US Navy’s Tomahawk cruise missile, though the anti-ship variants may be more advanced in many ways—they are capable of a number of terminal maneuvers to defeat ships’ defensive systems, including a supersonic dive.

Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov, chief of the Russian General Staff operations directorate, told TASS that the Russian ministry of defense had “reached an agreement in advance with our partners on making the cruise missile strikes.” The Russian Defense Ministry worked with Iran and Iraq, a defense ministry spokesperson said, to plan the flight path so that “the missiles traveled only over desolate areas and didn’t pose any danger to civilians.”

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Source: US claims four Russian cruise missiles fell short of Syria, hit Iran

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