Defense Secretary Ash Carter confirms the U.S. has indications that four Russian cruise missiles crashed in Iran rather than Syria, suggesting there were malfunctions.
It’s the first public comment by a U.S. official on the cruise missile failures.
Carter is speaking at a press conference in London with British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. The British are part of the coalition striking Islamic State fighters in Iraq, but are not conducting strikes in Syria. As many as four of the 26 long-range cruise missiles that Russia said it fired at Syrian targets landed instead in Iran.
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The Russian Defence Ministry had earlier posted a graphic on its website showing 26 missiles overflying Iran and Iraq before striking inside Syria.
Russia has been conducting air strikes in Syria in defence of the embattled regime of President Bashar al-Assad since September 30. The missile launches were in support of a major ground offensive by the Syrian army on several fronts in the war-torn country’s west.