Russia says detects two missile launches in Mediterranean

MOSCOW - Russia on Tuesday announced its early warning system had detected the launch of two ballistic missiles from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea fired towards the Sea's eastern coastline.

The launches took place at 10:16 am Moscow time (0616 GMT) and were detected by the early warning system in Armavir in southern Russia, the defence ministry said in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies.

It said Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had already reported to President Vladimir Putin about the event, which comes amid growing expectations of Western military action in Syria.

"The launch was detected by the early warning radar in Armavir," the Interfax news agency quoted the defence ministry as saying.

"The trajectory of the targets in question was from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea towards the eastern part of the Mediterranean coastline," it added.

"Sergei Shoigu has already reported to Vladimir Putin - the commander-in-chief of the Russian armed forces - about the discovery of the launch of the ballistic targets," it said.