Earlier today, in a clear advance notice to the French and US navies which are both set to arrive just off the coast of Syria in the coming weeks, Russia for the first time targeted Islamic State targets in Syria with Kalibr land-attack cruise missiles launched from a submarine in the Mediterranean Sea off the Syrian coastline, according to Russia’s Defense Minister.
In addition to the submarine, a Russian Ministry of Defense source revealed that the Rostov-on-Don, equipped with modern Russian Kalibr cruise missiles, had appeared near the Syrian coast. Additionally, just before the USS Harry S. Truman carrier arrives, the Russian cruiser Varyag, which is currently off India’s coast for Exercise Indra till Dec. 12, will set sail for the Mediterranean to replace the cruiser Moskva.
However, what was most notable in today’s update by the Russian defense ministry was neither the news about the sub, or the second ship deployment, but what Putin told Shoigu during their conversation according to the Kremlin’s transcript. Which is as follows:
Regarding the submarine strikes we must, of course, analyze everything that happens on the battlefield, how the weapons acts. Both the “Kalibrs” and the X-101 rockets as a whole proved to be very good. This new, modern, highly efficient, and highly precise weapon can be equipped with both a conventional warhead as well as a special, nuclear warhead. Naturally, in the fight against terrorism that is unnecessary, and I hope there will be no need [to use nukes against the Islamic State].
But, if it is…. which of course was the unsaid message: Russia not only can deploy tactical nuclear warheads to Syria overnight, but it may, “not now”, but eventually be forced to use them against “the Islamic State.”
Full article: Putin Hopes “There Will Be No Need To Nuke” The Islamic State (Zero Hedge)