TUE 23 - 10 - 2018
Oct 2, 2018
The Daily Star
Iran fires missiles at Syria militants over parade attack
TEHRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched six ballistic missiles as well as drone bombers early Monday toward eastern Syria, targeting Daesh (ISIS) militants it blamed for an attack on a military parade last month while also threatening regional adversaries.
The missiles had enough range to strike regional U.S. military bases and targets inside both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Monday’s strike targeted the bases of “takfiri terrorists” backed by Washington and regional powers in eastern Syria, the Guard said in a statement on Sepah News, its news site. It killed a number of militant leaders and destroyed their supplies and infrastructure, the Guard said.
The strike targeted the last pocket of territory in southeastern Syria held by Daesh, an official in the Iran-backed regional alliance fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad said. It is an area where the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces launched a new offensive last month against Daesh.
The U.S. military’s Central Command acknowledged that Iranian forces conducted “no-notice strikes” in the area.
“At this time, the coalition is still assessing if any damage occurred and no coalition forces were in danger,” Col. spokesman Sean Ryan said.
Fars News posted video footage of several missiles streaking into a dark sky during the attack.
The six ballistic missiles used in the attack flew 570 kilometers to hit the targets, the Guard said.
A map shown on state TV pinpointed Kermanshah in western Iran as the launch site and Albukamal in southeast Syria as the target.
Rami Abdel-Rahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the Associated Press that the missiles hit the Daesh-held town of Hajin, just north of Albukamal.
Fars News reported that the missiles were Iranian-made Zolfaqar and Qiam missiles.
“Our iron fist is prepared to deliver a decisive and crushing response to any wickedness and mischief of the enemies,” the Guard, the most powerful military force in the Islamic Republic, said.
“The terrorists used bullets in Ahvaz and we gave them a reply with missiles,” Fars News quoted Brig. Gen. Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guard’s airspace division, as saying.
“The security of the Iranian people is our red line and we will not be found wanting.”
These Daesh militants were the target of the missile strike, said Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri, the armed forces chief of staff, according to Fars News.
“The area east of the Euphrates where Daesh is based is under the control of the American military and the Guard’s missiles hit an area that is close to the area under American control,” Baqeri said.
“All of these are a warning for the enemies so they don’t move toward creating insecurity in Iran,” he added.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, has said the militants responsible for the parade attack were paid by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and that Iran would “severely punish” those behind the violence.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have denied involvement in the attack.
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