Russia says it launched air strikes against Islamic State in Syria on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin secured his parliament's unanimous backing to intervene to prop up the Kremlin's closest Middle East ally. Amateur video purportedly shot in the city of Homs shows military jets flying overhead and buildings reduced to rubble. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (No reporter narration) Moscow gave Washington just an hour's notice of the strikes, which set in train Russia's biggest play in the region since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, a U.S. official said. Targets in the Homs area appeared to have been struck, but not areas held by Islamic State, the U.S. official said. The Russian Defense Ministry said however that its attacks were directed at Islamic State military targets. Putin said the only way to fight "terrorists" in Syria was to act preemptively. Russia's military involvement in the Middle East would only involve its air force and would be temporary.