The Latest: Russian jets launch airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria to help Assad

The latest developments as Russia and other nations counter Islamic State militants in Syria. All times local:

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4:20 p.m.

Russia's defense ministry says its jets are carrying out airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria.

The ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian news agencies on Wednesday that Russian jets are carrying out targeted airstrikes on the positions, vehicles and warehouses that Russia believes belong to IS militants.

Earlier Wednesday, Russia's upper chamber of parliament gave the green light to President Vladimir Putin's request to use Russian forces in Syria. A Kremlin official said the move was to protect Russia's national security, since at least 2,400 Russians have gone to fight in Syria or Iraq.

Syrian President Bashar Assad is a key ally of Moscow.