Global News

Iran says its missiles into Syria hit IS targets

Iran says its missiles into Syria hit IS targets

Iran fired ground-to-ground missiles into eastern Syria on Sunday, allegedly targeting Islamic State terrorists and marking a significant escalation in the Syrian Civil War.

The Revolutionary Guards said it fired a total of six missiles into Syria's Deir-ez Zor province on Sunday, from the city of Kermanshah and Iran's Kurdistan province.

Iran said they launched six Zolfaghar medium range missiles at an ISIS target in Syria 450 kilometers away, in retaliation for the recent ISIS attack in Tehran that left 17 people dead.

Iran had earlier insinuated that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia - its chief regional foe - had encouraged the June 7 attacks on Iran's Parliament and the mausoleum of the late Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which killed 17 people.

The Guard, which is also involved in the fight against the Islamic State group in neighboring Iraq, controls Iran's missile program. They also said that Syria is a complex region in which the Assad regime, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel and the US, with its allies, have carried out air or missile strikes to achieve different and competing objectives.

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri on Monday hailed the Islamic Republic's great missile capabilities, saying Iran is now among the major missile powers in the world.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif defended the attack in a Twitter post on Monday.

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"The message of the revolutionary and punishing move is totally clear", the Guard said in its statement, carried by the state-run IRNA news agency.

However, the Iranians likely didn't make their target as they announced the death tolls mere minutes after firing the missiles, which would have been far too soon, and no one on the ground has reported a missile attack. Meanwhile, the US on Sunday shot down a Syrian aircraft for the first time, marking a new escalation of the conflict as Russian Federation warned it would consider any USA -led coalition planes in Syria west of the Euphrates River to be targets.

"The first message is that Iran punishes terrorists", he said.

"The Coalition has made it clear to all parties publicly and through the de-confliction line with Russian forces that the demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward Coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated", US military officials said.

Israel, which is itself believed to have atomic weapons, says the programme aims to produce a nuclear bomb - something Iran denies.

"The SDF is getting big-headed", said the pro-Damascus military commander, a non-Syrian who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.


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