Multiple Russian cruise missiles intended for targets in Syria crashed in Iran on Thursday.
CNN reported that at least four missiles launched from Russian ships crashed when they flew over Iran, according to a pair of U.S. officials. It is unknown whether or not there were casualties. Moscow has been using a new type of missile, named Kaliber, in its operations in Syria.
Russia claimed to have launched 26 cruise missiles from its ships in the Caspian Sea on Wednesday, targeting areas in Syria. The missile launches are part of a coordinated assault by Russia and Syrian government forces on rebels threatening the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Russia has intervened militarily in Syria in recent weeks, launching air strikes and claiming to put "volunteer" forces on the ground in the country. While Vladimir Putin’s government has said that Russian forces are helping Assad combat Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIL or ISIS) terrorists in the region, U.S. officials believe Moscow’s airstrikes are deliberately targeting CIA-backed rebels fighting Assad in the Syrian civil war in a direct challenge to the Obama administration.
In recent days, U.S. aircraft have at least on one occasion had to reroute in order to avoid colliding with Russian jets above Syria. Russian fighter jets have also shadowed U.S. predator drones in the region since Moscow began its bomb campaign last Wednesday, according to officials.
Moreover, Russian aircraft violated Turkey’s airspace twice over the weekend, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization confirmed.
On Thursday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that Russia would probably suffer casualties "within the coming days" because of its increased military action in Syria. He also slammed Russia for invading Turkey’s airspace and launching missiles at targets in Syria "without warning."