On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin bragged Russia’s cruise missiles had hit targets in Syria from almost 1,000 miles away. On Thursday, they missed and hit Iran.
Wednesday was Vladimir Putin’s 63rd birthday. To celebrate, he played ice hockey with some aging stars, scoring seven goals in a 15-10 win. Putin also ordered the launch of 26 cruise missiles into Syria from warships that were stationed nearly 1,000 miles away.
“That we fired from the territory of the Caspian Sea, at a range greater than 1,500 kilometers, and hit targets precisely, this shows high qualifications,” Putin bragged in a televised interview with his defense minister. (Russia also put the display of military firepower on YouTube.)
Also notable about this brazen show of might is that the missiles traveled through two countries, Iran and Iraq, before hitting their 11 targets in Syria. This means that both countries either gave their permission or simply didn’t confront Putin about the use of their airspace on his birthday.