A Russian ship apparently launched some cruise missiles at targets in Syria but missed, and the missiles crashed in Iran, reports CNN. The media outlet cites two U.S. officials for the information.
Russian missiles crash in Iran
U.S. intelligence and military assets have reportedly been monitoring the situation and say that four or possibly even more missiles crashed while they were flying over Iran. One of the officials said there might be casualties, although another said they don’t know yet if there are any casualties.
At this point it isn’t clear where the missiles crashed in Iran. Officials reportedly said the Russian ships that fired the missiles are in the southern part of the Caspian Sea. This means the probably path for missiles fired into Syria would be through both Iran and Iraq. Iran’s FARS news agency, which CNN describes as “semi-official,” said neither Iran nor Russia has confirmed the information provided by the two U.S. officials yet.
26 Russian missiles hit their targets
Russia has been using a fairly new model of cruise missile called the Kaliber, and this is the first time Moscow has used it in combat. On Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin that the 26 missiles their four ships had fired all hit their targets, missing all civilian areas. Putin reportedly congratulated Shoigu for the missiles’ performance.
According to CNN, it’s not clear if the missiles Shoigu spoke of on Wednesday are the same as the ones referenced by the U.S. officials reporters spoke with today. The media outlet reports that the four missiles the U.S. mentioned could have been launched after the conversation between Shoigu and Putin was broadcast on Russian TV.
Russia could see casualties in Syria
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned the UN that Russia would probably suffer casualties over the next several days as it becomes more and more involved in Syria. Carter also called out Moscow for what he said was “increasingly unprofessional behavior.” The comment followed a move from a Russian fighter jet, which crossed into Turkish airspace this week “without warning” following some of Russia’s missile launches into Syria.
Carter emphasized that the U.S. would not work with Russia militarily in Syria but also that they needed to come to some sort of agreement to avoid accidents between their forces over Syria. The two sides have different agendas there, with the U.S. targeting ISIS there and Russia backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Carter also said Russia “has the opportunity to change course and do the right thing” but that he doesn’t know if they will.