Iran fires missiles at IS targets

An Iran's Shahab-3 missile is launched by the Revolutionary Guard during a maneuver outside the city of Qom Iran 2011

An Iran's Shahab-3 missile is launched by the Revolutionary Guard during a maneuver outside the city of Qom Iran 2011 AP

As reporter Anshel Pfeffer observes, this is a "major development" and constitutes the "first operational use of mid-range missiles by Iran since war with Iraq".

Last week, Iran accused the US and its regional ally Saudi Arabia of supporting and aiding the Tehran terror attacks. However, Iran is not thought to have used ballistic missiles on a foreign target since the Iran-Iraq war.

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced here that its aerospace units have targeted the "terrorists" command centers in Syria's Deir ez-Zor with its missiles.

Iranian television showed footage of the missiles being launched into the night sky. It vowed to respond determinedly to any terrorist attack against the Islamic republic. This month Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters, supported by USA advisers and air power, began the battle for Raqqa, the militants' self-declared capital.

"The punitive and retaliatory move has conveyed a clear message to Takfiri terrorists and their regional and trans-regional sponsors" that such evil acts will be retaliated, the IRGC stated. The IS group did not immediately acknowledge the strikes. They were broadcasting live the launch of ground-to-ground missiles into eastern Syria targeting ISIS. The strike was in retaliation for a pair of terrorist attacks in Tehran on June 7th that killed 12 and wounded 46. And the Americans say, this was within the rules.

Iran has described the attackers as being "long affiliated with the Wahhabi", an ultraconservative form of Sunni Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia.

The confrontation in Syria on Sunday began around 4:30 p.m. local time when USA -backed ground Syrian fighters, who are officially called the Syrian Democratic Forces, came under attack by what the Pentagon described only as "pro-Syrian regime forces" and were forced from their positions in the town of Ja'Din, south of Tabqah.

The ministry also called on the USA military to provide a full account of why it chose to shoot down the Syrian SU-22.

Iran has summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, who looks after U.S. interests, over comments by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson backing "peaceful transition" in the Islamic republic. Iran has a large and diverse ballistic missile arsenal with weapons that comparatively more developed than the Zolfaqar.

Sharif told The Associated Press that the missile launch reflected Iran's "military power", though Iran has no intention of starting another war.

"The three captured members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are now being questioned by Saudi authorities", it said, citing a Saudi official.

Since Trump took office, his administration has put new economic sanctions on those allegedly involved with Iran's missile program as the Senate has voted for applying new sanctions on Iran.

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri on Monday hailed the Islamic Republic's great missile capabilities, saying Iran is now among the major missile powers in the world.

Israel is also concerned about Iran's missile launches and has deployed a multilayered missile-defense system. The Iranians unveiled the Zolfaghar in September, with a banner saying Iran could destroy the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa [d]. The location where the sixth missile struck is unknown. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Warplanes from the USA -led coalition operating over Syrian government-controlled areas west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as potential targets, Russia's Defense Ministry said Monday, a day after the us military shot down a Syrian air force jet. "I have one message to Iran: Do not threaten Israel".

The launch takes place just a couple of hours after Iran's Supreme leader said "they can not slap us in the face".

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