Published: Sun, June 25, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Iran fires rockets in 'revenge' at Islamic State in Syria


Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Monday missiles it fired into Syria had successfully hit Islamic State group targets in retaliation for Tehran attacks claimed by the jihadists earlier this month.

Israel's military and Israeli defense analysts have mocked Iran's first strike on the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Syria, arguing that numerous missiles Tehran used in the raid missed their targets.

A second USA official said the use of ballistic missiles may also have been intended as a signal that Iran remains committed to supporting Assad and a reminder that US forces and bases in the region are within reach of Iranian missiles and ground forces.

The downing of the drone came on the same day Australia announced it would temporarily suspended airstrikes by its forces in Syria after a USA fighter jet shot down a Syrian jet, and Syrian ally Russian Federation threatened to target planes from the us -led coalition operating in the skies over Syria.

On Tuesday, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the missile strike was just a small part of the Islamic Republic's reaction to the "indiscriminate" attacks by the terror group on the Iranian soil.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it fired as many as seven missiles at an ISIS compound in Deir Ezzor while Iranian media cited sources who said that the strikes killed 360 militants on Sunday.

"Obviously and clearly, some reactionary countries of the region, especially Saudi Arabia, had announced that they are trying to bring insecurity into Iran".

The Iranian missiles were launched from Kermanshah in western Iran near the border with Iraq.

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The Revolutionary Guards immediately placed blame on Riyadh after the June 7 attacks, with Saudi Arabia rejecting the claims.

It adds new tensions in a region already unsettled by a long-running feud between Shiite power Iran and the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as a campaign by Arab nations against Qatar. The location where the sixth missile struck is unknown.

The Guards statement, published on Wednesday by Sepah News, ran counter to a statement by President Hassan Rouhani who said earlier that the strikes were authorised by the Supreme National Security Council, which includes the heads of the three branches of government as well as the head of the Guards and other ministers.

He pointed out that it was the first time that Iranian missile power showed itself to the world on the ground, and stressed that the enemies of the Islamic Republic should know that "in the event of an invasion or violation of global law, they will be confronted with an overwhelming response".

Ya'ari noted that Iranian officials, trying to cover up the extent of the failure, have been repeating over and over in the past few hours how successful the missile strike was.

Mohammadreza Aref, the leader of the pro-reform Hope faction, praised the missile attacks on ISIS strongholds, saying it was a "response to ill-wishers of the Islamic Iran".

Both the Iranian strikes and the US's downing of the Syrian plane, followed by its tensions with Russian Federation, come as various players in the region jostle and scramble for position to take over territory in the post-ISIS era.

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