Heavy Russian aerial bombing and cruise missile strikes launched from warships in the Caspian Sea on Wednesday provided cover for a major Syrian army ground offensive in a coordinated attack on rebels. Amid a dramatic escalation in its air war over Syria, Moscow said it was ready to establish contacts with Western-backed rebels, which the United States and its allies accuse Russia of targeting in bombing raids. Putin, who celebrated his 63rd birthday Wednesday, also announced for the first time that four Russian warships had struck IS targets with 26 cruise missiles.
By Elizabeth Piper and Kylie MacLellan MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday he would fight hard in his talks to change Britain's relationship with the European Union, calling the 28-member bloc "too big, too bossy and too interfering". In a speech aimed at calming Eurosceptic members of his ruling Conservative Party, Cameron also tried to shape his vision for his second term - to tackle poverty, inequality and offer security to build a "greater Britain".