Iran Guards fires missiles into Syria over Ahvaz attack

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Monday claimed it launched ballistic missiles into eastern Syria, targeting militants it blames for the recent attack on a military parade in Ahvaz.
author_image Kurdistan 24

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Monday claimed it launched ballistic missiles into eastern Syria, targeting militants it blames for the recent attack on a military parade in Ahvaz.

It is the country’s second such missile attack on Syria in over a year.

The strikes reportedly “killed and injured” militants in Syria, Iranian state-run IRNA news agency reported, without offering further details.

In this photo released on Oct. 1, 2018, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, missiles are fired from city of Kermanshah in western Iran targeting the Islamic State (IS) in Syria. (Photo: Sepahnews via AP)
In this photo released on Oct. 1, 2018, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, missiles are fired from city of Kermanshah in western Iran targeting the Islamic State (IS) in Syria. (Photo: Sepahnews via AP)

Syria’s state television did not immediately acknowledge the attack.

Iranian media aired alleged footage showing one of the missiles being launched from Iranian Kurdistan’s (Rojhilat) western province of Kermanshah (Kermanshan). The broadcasted images had missiles fly over central Iraq, near the city of Tikrit, before landing near Albu Kamal, in southeastern Syria.

Albu Kamal is under the control of forces loyal to the Syrian government. However, Islamic State (IS) militants, who previously controlled large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, continue to target the city in attempts to retake once-held terrain.

Written on one of the rockets displayed on Iranian state media were the slogans “Death to America, Death to Israel, Death to Al-Saud,” referring to Saudi Arabia’s ruling family.

The missiles also carried the phrase “Kill the friends of Satan,” referring to a verse in the Quran on fighting infidels.

Different Iranians slogans written on a ballistic missile. (Photo: Iranian state media)
Different Iranians slogans written on a ballistic missile. (Photo: Iranian state media)

“This is the roaring of missiles belonging to the Revolutionary Guard of the Islamic Revolution,” the state TV's reporter said as the missiles launched behind him. “In a few minutes, the world of arrogance — especially America, the Zionist regime and Al Saud — will hear the sound of Iran’s repeated blows.”

Iran’s Fars news agency, closely affiliated to the IRGC, identified the missiles used as Zolfaghar and Qiam variants, which have ranges of 750 km (465 miles) and 800 km (500 miles) respectively.

“The strikes were definitely messages to the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. State media displayed the ‘death to’ to clearly communicate that,” Amir Toumaj, an independent analyst on Iran, told Kurdistan 24.

Tehran also launched drone assaults on the site, state media reported.

The attack came nine days after an assault on a military parade in Iran’s southern city of Ahvaz that killed at least 24 people and injured more than 60 on Sep. 22.

Iran immediately blamed Ahvaz Arab separatists for the attack, and the group claimed the attack. However, in an online statement, IS also claimed responsibility for the assault and later released a video showing several men talking about the attack, identifying them as their operatives.

Tehran, in an official statement, said its missile attack in Syria targeted both “Takfiri” militants – a term they often use to refer to IS – and Ahvazi separatists. The separatists have not been known to work with the jihadist group in the past.

It is Iran’s third time launching ballistic missiles in a show of force over the past two years.

In June 2017, Iran fired missiles into Syria following the jihadist group’s attack on the parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran.

In September, the IRGC launched missiles targeting the Iranian Kurdish opposition groups’ headquarters in the Kurdistan Region’s Koya city, killing at least 12 and injuring 50 more.

Editing by Nadia Riva