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Russian Strategic Missile Forces chief: No point in using ballistic missiles against IS

December 16, 2015, 15:27 UTC+3

In mid-November, Russia involved strategic bombers in strikes at militants in Syria

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Russia's Strategic Missile Forces commander Colonel-General Sergey Karakayev

Russia's Strategic Missile Forces commander Colonel-General Sergey Karakayev

© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. There is no need to use non-nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles against terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group (outlawed in Russia), Strategic Missile Forces commander Colonel-General Sergey Karakayev has said.

"I see no point in using intercontinental ballistic missiles to destroy Islamic State targets. There are other means for that capable of doing this. Rational planning boils down to the fact that each facility is assigned a means of destruction that is most effective," the general told a news conference ahead of Strategic Missile Forces Day when asked whether there were plans to use non-nuclear ballistic missiles against IS.

Karakayev recalled that the use of ballistic missiles equipped with any warheads was authorized by the Supreme Commander - Russian President Vladimir Putin. "If the relevant political decision is taken, the Strategic Missile Forces are ready to perform any task," he said.

Russia’s Aerospace Force started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The air group initially comprised over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. They were redeployed to the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia.

On October 7, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria. On October 8, the Syrian army passed to a large-scale offensive.

In mid-November, Russia increased the number of aircraft taking part in the operation in Syria to 69 and involved strategic bombers in strikes at militants.

Targets of the Russian aircraft include terrorists’ gasoline tankers and oil refineries.

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