Iran fires long range missiles against Daesh in Syria

Iran fires long range missiles against Daesh in Syria

Tehran: After firing missiles targeting Daesh group in eastern Syria, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Monday issued a stark warning to Daesh militants, saying that any future attack against Iran will result in more powerful launches.

The Guard said it launched the strikes on Sunday in retaliation for attacks in Tehran earlier this month that were claimed by Daesh. Iran has been involved in Syria’s long-running civil war, in which it has backed embattled Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

Iranian state television quoted Gen. Ramazan Sharif on Monday as saying that “if they (Daesh) carry out a specific action to violate our security, definitely there will be more launches, with intensified strength.”

He spoke as part of a TV package about the missile launches, showing them shoot off into the night from the western province of Kermanshah. The Guard said it fired six missiles in total from Kermanshah and also from Iran’s Kurdistan province into Syria’s Deir Al Zor province, where Daesh has been trying to fortify its positions in the face of a US-led coalition onslaught.

But the missiles sent a message to more than just the extremists in Iraq and Syria, Sharif told state television in a telephone interview.

Activists in Syria said they had no immediate information on damage or casualties from the strikes.

Deir Al Zor is home to both Daesh militants and civilians. The extremists increasingly have fled to Deir Al Zor as Daesh’s de facto capital of Raqqa has come under punishing US-led air strikes.

Five Daesh-linked attackers stormed Iran’s parliament and a shrine to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on June 7, killing at least 18 people and wounding more than 50.

That attack marked the first to hit Iran, shocking its residents who believed the chaos engulfing the rest of the Middle East would not find them in the Shiite-majority nation.

The attack also came as emboldened Sunni Arab states — backed by US. President Donald Trump — are hardening their stance against Iran.

The Guard, which is also involved in the fight against Daesh in neighbouring Iraq, controls Iran’s missile programme. It has test-fired a number of missiles since Iran struck the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, including the US.

Since Trump took office, his administration has described putting Iran “on notice” over the missile tests and put new economic sanctions on those allegedly involved with the program. Israel also remains concerned about Iran’s missile launches.