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Russia Fires Missiles At IS Targets In Syria From Mediterranean

A Russian attack helicopter flies above the damaged site of the ancient city of Palmyra in March

The Russian Defense Ministry says a Russian warship and a submarine in the Mediterranean Sea have fired four cruise missiles targeting positions and equipment of the extremist group Islamic State (IS) near the Syrian city of Palmyra.

The ministry said that the missiles fired from the frigate Admiral Essen and the submarine Krasnodar hit their targets.

It said that Russia had informed the United States, Turkey, and Israel of its plans before firing the missiles.

While Russia, the United States, and Turkey are all fighting against the IS group, Moscow is backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the Syrian conflict, while Washington and Ankara are supporting different rebel factions.

Russia began a campaign of bombings and missile strikes in Syria in September 2015 that helped Assad avoid potential defeat and remain in power.

Western officials have said in the past that most of the Russian strikes have targeted opponents of Assad other than IS.

Based on reporting by Reuters, RIA, and TASS