Russia targeted Islamic State targets in Syria for the first time using Kalibr cruise missiles that were launched by the Rostov-on-Don submarine from an underwater position in the Mediterranean Sea, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday.
Shoigu added that in the course of four days, Russian aircraft including Tu-22M3 strategic bombers had performed over 300 sorties engaging over 600 targets of different type.
“All the flights are carried out under the coverage of fighter aviation – Su-30SM aircraft,” Shoigu said.
Shoigu said that the Russian Defense Ministry had informed the foreign states concerning its actions beforehand.
Relatedly, Shoigu also showed a flight data recorder from the Su-24M bomber downed by the Turkish fighter on November 24.
Shoigu said that active work had been conducted on the territory of militants who had killed the Russian pilot. As a result, those territories were liberated by the joint efforts of the Russian air group and the Special Task Force of the Syrian Army. The Syrian servicemen found the place where the Russian aircraft had hit the ground.
According to the Defense Minister, militants were rapidly leaving those territories and did not manage to take anything from the downed aircraft.
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian Defense Ministry to open the flight data recorder only in the presence of international experts. “I want you to open it only together with foreign specialists and to document everything very thoroughly,” Putin said.
According to Putin, the transcription of the downed Su-24M records will allow observers to define its flight trajectory and location at the moment of being eliminated. “That means that we will understand its location and the reason why the Turkish Air Force had hit it in the back,” Putin said.