Russian warships in the Mediterranean Sea fired cruise missiles at targets near Aleppo on Friday, a further sign of Moscow's broadening military effort in Syria days after it began to fly bombing missions from an airbase in Iran.
Russian air power had helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad make steady advances against rebels seeking to oust him since Moscow's intervention a year ago, but a recent insurgent advance in Aleppo has checked that momentum.
In northeastern Syria, warplanes from a U.S.-led coalition flew patrols on Thursday to protect local ground forces they back against Syrian government airstrikes that are targeting the Kurdish city of Hasaka, the Pentagon said.
Russia's three cruise missile launches were its first against targets in Syria from the Mediterranean, with previous ones made from its Caspian Sea fleet. On Tuesday Russian bombers began flying missions in Syria from Hamedan air base in Iran.
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