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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Iran Launches Retaliatory Missile Strike into Syria

Politics

7Dnews London - AP

Mon, 01 Oct 2018 19:36 GMT

Iran launched a ballistic missile strike on eastern Syria on October 1st, targeting militants who Iran believes were behind the recent attack on a military parade.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard released the information on Monday, revealing the second such missile attack in Syria in just over a year.  

According to information published on Iranian state television and the state-run IRNA news agency, the attacks "killed and wounded" militants in Syria. No further information about the strikes was provided. Syrian state media did not immediately acknowledge the strike. 

Information shared on state television suggests the missiles flew over central Iraq before striking near the city of Abu Kamal, which is located in the far southeast of Syria. 

Abu Kamal is currently occupied by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad. The city has been targeted by militants from the Islamic State group, who have lost almost all the territory they once held in Syria and Iraq. 

One missile shown on state television bore the slogans "Death to America, Death to Israel, Death to Al Saud," referring to Saudi Arabia's ruling family. The missile also bore in Arabic the phrase "kill the friends of Satan," referring to a verse in the Quran on fighting infidels. 

The semi-official Fars news agency identified the six missiles used as Zolfaghar and Qiam varieties. Iran also launched drone attacks on the site after the missile strikes. 

According to the Associated Press, the attack only adds to the confusion about who carried out an assault on an Iranian military parade in Ahvaz. The September 24th attack left 24 people dead and more than 60 wounded.  

At first, Iran blamed Arab separatists for the attack, in which the gunmen dressed up in military uniforms and posed as Iranian soldiers before opening fire on the crowd. Arab separatists subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack, releasing information about one of the attackers that eventually turned out to be true.  

While IS also claimed responsibility, in the beginning they made several factually inaccurate claims surrounding the attack. Later, IS released footage of some of the attackers, which Iranian investigators then confirmed as some of the men involved in the attack. The footage does not reveal if the attackers ever pleaded allegiance to IS. 

Iranian state media said the missiles targeted both "takfiri" militants and Ahvazi separatists. “Takfiri” is the term Iran often applies to members of the Islamic State group. Thus far, the two groups have not been known to work together. 


Middle East