Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched six missiles into the Deir ez-Zor region of eastern Syria on Sunday, a province that is home to Islamic State militants and civilians, in retaliation for the jihadi group’s series of attacks in Tehran on June 7 which left 18 dead and dozens injured.
According to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency, IRGC spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said the IRGC’s missile operation “Laylat al-Qadr” was “only a tiny example of Iran’s punitive power over the terrorists and enemies.” He added, “Regional and international sponsors of terrorists must understand the warning message of the missile operation.”
Tasnim further reported that the six missiles, launched from Iran’s western province of Kermanshah, included Zolfaqar high-precision missiles, a mid-range ballistic missile.
A “large number” of Islamic State terrorists were reportedly killed, their equipment and weapons destroyed, in the retaliatory attack that targeted the “headquarters and gathering centers of Takfiri terrorists supporting and building car bombs.”
On June 7, Islamic State militants attacked Iran’s Parliament and the shrine of the late leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Both the attacks on Tehran and Sunday’s retaliatory strikes took place during the Muslim holy month of Ramada, which began on May 26 and ends on June 24.
The Iranian government said the five militants who carried out the double terrorist attack in Tehran were Iranian members of the Islamic State and noted that they had joined the Sunni group and joined the jihad in Syria and Iraq.
Iran had insinuated that the United States’s meeting with leaders of Saudi Arabia — which has “constantly been supporting” terrorists — encouraged the attacks.
Breitbart News previously reported that shortly after the Ramadan attacks took place in Tehran, Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said the attacks were a cowardly act and reportedly downplayed the tragedies as a “minor issue.” He said, “Iran is an active and effective pillar in the fight against terrorists, and they want to damage it.” After he finished speaking, his fellow parliamentarians stood up and began shouting, “Death to America,” while pumping their fists in their air.
— potkin azarmehr (@potkazar) June 7, 2017
The United States and Iran are fighting opposite each other in Syria; Iran supports President Bashar al-Assad and his regime while the U.S. is supporting rebels intent on removing him from his post as well as a coalition that is fighting to eradicate the Islamic State from the region.
The Washington Post also reported on Sunday that the Pentagon confirmed a U.S. military aircraft shot down a Syrian government fighter jet shortly after U.S.-backed fighters in northern Syria were bombed by Assad’s fighters.
“The Pentagon said the downing of the aircraft came hours after Syrian loyalist forces attacked U.S.-backed fighters, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the village of Ja’Din, southwest of Raqqa,” wrote the Washington Post. “The rare attack was the first time a U.S. jet has shot down a manned hostile aircraft in more than a decade, and it signaled the United States’ sharply intensifying role in Syria’s war.”