Vladimir Putin has said he hopes nuclear warheads will not be needed after Russia launched cruise missiles from its submarine at Isis targets in Syria.
During a meeting in the Kremlin, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told the President that Kalibr cruise missiles had been fired by the Rostov-on-Don submarine from the Mediterranean Sea for the first time.
In addition to conventional warheads, President Putin said the new cruise missiles could also be equipped with nuclear warheads, before adding he hoped they would “never be needed”.
According to Russia Today, he said: “We must [analyse] everything happening on the battlefield, how the weapons operate. The Kalibrs (sea-based cruise missiles) and KH-101 (airborne cruise missile) have proved to be modern and highly effective, and now we know it for sure – precision weapons that can be equipped with both conventional and special warheads, which are nuclear.”
“Naturally, this is not necessary when fighting terrorists and, I hope, will never be needed.”
Mr Shoigu said TU-22 bombers also took part in the latest raids and that a munitions depot, a factory manufacturing mortar rounds and oil facilities had been destroyed. He added that Israel and the US had been informed before the air strikes were launched.
Russia's air campaign has been taking place since 30 September.