Iran launches missiles at 'terror bases' in Syria
ATTA KENARE (AFP/Archives)
Iran launched missiles at "terror bases" in Syria on Sunday night in retaliation for deadly terror attacks on the country's capital two weeks ago, the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard force announced.
"The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps… a while ago has conducted missile attacks on Takfiri terrorists’ command centers, gatherings, logistic sites and factories of suicide car bombs in Deir Ezzor region, east of Syria," read a statement from the group, carried by the Tansim news agency. Takfiri is a derogatory reference to Islamic State.
The statement repeated the Guards' previous vow to exact revenge on Islamic State for the attack on Tehran's parliament and the shrine of the regime's founder Ayatollah Khomenei on June 7.
“A number of mid-range ground-to-ground missiles were fired from the IRGC aerospace force’s bases in Iran’s western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan," the statement quoted by Tansim added.
“The punitive and retaliatory move has conveyed a clear message to Takfiri terrorists and their regional and trans-regional sponsors."
There was no immediate statement regarding the number or type of missiles fired. Videos posted on social media by Iranian journalists showed missiles being fired at night time near built-up areas as locals expressed amazement.
Iranian media reported that it was the first time the country's armed forces had used medium-range ground-to-ground missiles in thirty years. In the 1980s Iran and Iraq fought a contracted and bitter war in which both sides used missiles, however the trauma of the Iraqi barrage on Iranian cities remains scarred into the national psyche.
Video: This is so close to the launcher; chants of Allah-o Akbar (God is the Great) is heard pic.twitter.com/VNENqNIGcn— H.Soleimani (@MashreghNews_ir) June 18, 2017
Sunday's strike also coincides with advances by the Iranian-backed Syrian regime into oil-rich Deir Ezzor.
The Syrian army on Sunday advanced into the northern province of Raqa as part of an offensive to reach the neighbouring Deir Ezzor province, a monitoring group said on Sunday.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime troops had reached the edges of Resafa, a town some 40 kilometres (25 miles) southwest of Raqa city, bastion of the Islamic State group.
The goal of the operation is to push further east and reach Deir Ezzor, the Observatory said.
The regime has lost control of many oil and gas fields since the start in 2011 of Syria's conflict, especially in the provinces of Homs and Deir Ezzor.
Sunday's advance came after government troops captured several villages in the past few days, said the Observatory.
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