Russia is making itself known in the Middle East as Russian missile ships in the Caspian Sea are firing cruise missiles at ISIS targets over 1,000 miles away in Syria.

According to reports recently released by Russian authorities, since the end of September Russia has fired approximately 26 cruise missiles with its naval forces and launched over 100 airstrikes at "ISIS targets."

Despite Russia's claims that no civilian targets have been hit by its cruise missile strikes, however, reports from the region show that three hospitals were hit or damaged by the Russian strikes. Those field hospitals were miles from any ISIS activity and shouldn't have been on anyone's radar for strikes, say U.S. and NATO officials. The deliberate attack of a hospital or medical facility is considered a war crime.

Vladimir Putin commended Russian military forces for their naval attacks, saying that the accuracy and completeness of the attacks was "evidence of our defense industry’s good preparation and the service personnel’s good professional skills.”

These comments were likely an underhanded jab at United States military commanders who declared that Russia's quick moving scheme of letting U.S. forces know that the Russians would be attacking in Syria mere hours before launching their strikes was "unprofessional."

Russia's cruise missiles that were involved in this recent flurry of attacks are high-accuracy Kalibr NK cruise missiles. The Kalibr missiles are supposedly accurate to within a nine-foot radius of their targets and fly at an extremely low altitude--160 feet.

The fact that Russia is able to strike at Syrian targets from the Caspian Sea also highlights the buildup of Russian naval vessels in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Russia is surrounding the region and making an impossible-to-mistake power play.

The United States needs to decide what we're going to say and do about Russia and then follow-through. Our foreign policy has suffered because Obama isn't strong enough to make a decision and stick with it. Russia's increasing strength in the region only highlights the need for a more decisive American president.

h/t: CNS News



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