Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria

Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria

Iran's ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, praised the missile strikes: "Missile attacks against Isis military base in Syria manifested the will and capacity of Iran to fight against terrorism and security threats".

The IRGC had vowed revenge for the attacks and accused Saudi Arabia of supporting ISIS in the operation.

Activists in Syria did not immediately have information about the Iranian-claimed strikes.

The IRGC said the missile strikes were a warning to deter future Islamic State attacks.

On June 7, Islamic State militants attacked Iran's Parliament and the shrine of the late leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The strike also followed the passage of a new round of sanctions against Iran's missile program by Congress on Thursday.

The missiles fired by Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Sunday targeted IS in Deir al-Zor province, fast becoming the jihadists' last remaining foothold in Syria and a declared military priority of Tehran's allies in the Syrian government.

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". The regional and worldwide sponsors of the terrorists must receive the revealing message of the assault, ' he said.

Iran announced on June 11 that the mastermind of the Tehran attacks was killed outside of Iran in an Iranian-led operation in coordination with the intelligence of "a friendly foreign country", Iran's intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi said.

Yaari also told The Times of Israel that his sources were "amazed" at the poor performance of the Iranian missiles.

The United States said the Syrian army plane shot down on Sunday had dropped bombs near fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US -backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters battling to capture the city of Raqqa from IS.

Iran has sent to Syria military advisers as well as thousands of "volunteer" fighters recruited among its own nationals as well as the Shiite communities in neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan since Syria's conflict broke out in March 2011.

Senior Iranian officials, however, have pointed a finger at Saudi Arabia, Iran's Sunni regional rival.

Meanwhile, the USA -backed opposition fighters said Assad's forces have been attacking their positions in the northern province of Raqqa and warned that if such attacks continue, the fighters will take action.

Missiles fired by Iran to the ISIS reportedly were of Zulfiqar type with a range of 750 km (466-mile).

The US-led coalition later confirmed it shot down the Syrian warplane it said had dropped bombs near SDF forces.

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