Syria notified of missile operation, Iran says

June 19, 2017

TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the Syrian government was “informed” of the missile attacks at Islamic State strongholds in eastern Syria.

Late on Sunday, Iran fired missiles at Islamic State targets in Syria in retaliation for the jihadists’ deadly attacks in Tehran on June 7. 

“Having informed the legitimate Syrian government (of the missile attacks), fatal blows were dealt to terrorist groups and their headquarters in Deir al Zour,” ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told ISNA.  

“The missile strikes at strongholds and headquarters of takfiri terrorists were simply a ‘‘soft slap’’ and a warning to awaken those who have failed so far to understand the realities of the region and their boundaries,” the Foreign Ministry official remarked. 

“As we have said many times, we feel free to defend our security and stability, and will do our outmost to contain terrorism, insecurity and instability,” he added. 

Missiles target ISIS suicide car bomb sites 

Six surface-to-surface missiles were launched on Sunday from western bases in Iran at command centers, logistic sites and suicide car bomb factories in Syria’s eastern Deir al Zour area, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Monday. 

The missile strikes are Iran’s first direct military move in the region since the Iraqi invasion of the country in 1980, and the strongest signal to regional archrivals, mainly Saudi Arabia, which has sought to test Iran’s patience.  

Iran calls for ‘genuine’ fight against terrorism

The Foreign Ministry spokesman also renewed Tehran’s push for the World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE), calling on all countries to join hands in the “genuine fight” against terrorism. 

In December 2013, the General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to approve President Rouhani’s WAVE proposal, which called on all nations across the globe to denounce violence and extremism.

Backing the missile operation, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: “Iran’s missile capability protects its citizens in lawful self-defense & advances common global fight to eradicate ISIS and extremist terror.”  

The attacks come after the June 7 twist assault at Iran’s parliament and the mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic revolution Ayatollah Khomeini which killed 18 people and injured 56. 

Islamic State took credit for the attacks. 

Iran indirectly pointed the finger of suspicion at Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

The IRGC announced the missile strike was conducted in retaliation for the ISIS raids in Tehran, saying “Tehran is not London or Paris.” 

Following the Tehran assault, Zarif tweeted: "Terror-sponsoring despots threaten to bring the fight to our homeland. Proxies attack what their masters despise most: the seat of democracy.” 

The tweet appeared to refer to comments made by Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, in May, who said Riyadh would bring "the battle" for regional influence inside Iran.

It remain to be seen how Tehran’s military action will influence the Astana peace talks, an initiative taken by Russia, Turkey and Iran to bring a peaceful end to the Syrian crisis. 

AK/PA 

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