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Vladimir Putin Open To Using Nuclear Missiles Against Islamic State Group, But Hopes It Is 'Never Needed'

09/12/2015 18:47 GMT | Updated 10/12/2015 14:59 GMT
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UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 01: The mushroom cloud produced by the first explosion by the Americans of a hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok Atoll in the South Pacific. Known as Operation Ivy, this test represented a major step forwards in terms of the destructive power achievable with atomic weapons. The hydrogen, or fusion, bomb used a fission device similar to those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, detonated inside a container containing deuterium. The high temperatures involved set off a fusion reaction in the deterium, releasing vast amounts of energy. The yield of the weapon was 10.4 megatonnes, more than the total of all the high explosive detonated in the entire duration of the Second World War. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

Vladimir Putin has floated the notion of using nuclear weapons against members of the Islamic State, according to quotes published by the Kremlin. The state's press service claimed on Wednesday that the Russia's President and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed launching nuclear-tipped cruise missiles at Isis positions in Syria during a recent meeting at the Kremlin.

Shoigu told the president that conventional Kalibr cruise missiles had already been fired from the Rostov-on-Don submarine in the Mediterranean. Putin added that the Kalibr missiles could be equipped with a nuclear warhead, but said he hoped they would "never be needed."

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Putin: 'Precision weapons that can be equipped with both conventional and special warheads, which are nuclear'

"We must analyse everything happening on the battlefield, how the weapons operate," Putin said. “The Kalibrs and KH-101 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,” he added.

Moscow launched its air campaign against targets in Syria on September 30. Last month, Russian authorities revealed its refurbished National Defence Control Centre, a monstrous, fortified operations base in he heart of the capital next to the Moskva River from which military officers oversee attacks.

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