The Iranian Revolutionary Guard announced on October 1, 2018 that it launched a rocket attack targeting terrorist headquarters in the east of the Euphrates in Syria in response to the attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on September 22.
The IRGC declared in a statement on its official website «Saba News» that they “targeted the headquarters of the leaders, who committed the crime of terrorism against Ahvaz city, in the east of the Euphrates” minutes before the ballistic missiles land. The missiles, fired at 02:00 am on Monday [22:30 GMT on Sunday], were launched from Kermanshah province, western Iran.
The missiles targeted the masterminds of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] on the eastern banks of the Euphrates north of Albu-Kamal in eastern Syria. The district is one of the last remaining positions of Daesh. The BBC reported later on Monday that a “Syrian opposition group” confirmed it had received reports of violent explosions at dawn in territory controlled by Daesh. The group said it believed missiles had hit the headquarters of Daesh in the Hajin area. It is estimated that there were between 1,500 and 2,000 Daesh members in the area. Sean Ryan, the spokesperson for the US occupation forces in Syria, confirmed the strike but said no US forces “were in danger.”
The Iranian strike east of the Euphrates was confirmed Monday by Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, in an email to Military Times, who called it “reckless” and “escalatory.” “While no Coalition forces were harmed, we are still assessing the strike, and given the complex nature of the battle space, such strikes potentially jeopardize the forces who are actively fighting ISIS in Syria,” Robertson told Military Times while stressing, “firing any missiles through uncoordinated airspace is a threat to civil and military aviation.” Robertson seems to have forgotten the US missiles that passed over Lebanon to strike Damascus and the danger they posed on civilian lives only because they were fired by the US.
Furthermore, Monday’s strike was the second missile attack by Iran in a month, and came as tensions rise ahead of renewed US sanctions targeting Tehran’s oil industry that will take effect in early November.
Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the IRGC’s aerospace division told Tasnim news agency “terrorists used bullets in Ahvaz,” and “we answered them with missiles.”
A Video released by Iran showed the missiles reaching skyward in the dead of night. The IRGC scripted the bombardment as it had with the September 8 attack on terrorist groups in northern Iraq. During that ballistic retaliatory attack, the IRGC used seven Fateh 110 missiles and fired them near Tabriz. Kermanshah is 200 km south of that launch location.
These missiles represent a new achievement for Tehran, with new technical features. The IRGC chose the Zulfiqar and Qiam ballistic missiles to target terrorists in Syria, which had been used last year in June to target ISIS terrorists in Deir Ezzor province.
Head of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri announced, “It was necessary to fight the terrorists involved in this operation and teach them a lesson and avenge the blood of the martyrs as promised by the leader of the revolution.” Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri made his statement as he met with reporters on the sidelines of his visit to a skills training exhibition. Bagheri also pointed out that “Iranian drones passed the airspace of a country or two and flew the terrorists’ sites in Syria and carried out successful raids.”
Iranian media published pictures and video clips of the rockets, which passed nearly 570 kilometers to reach their targets in Syria, as well as a short video showing unmanned aerial vehicles targeting the terrorists’ sites.
Iran, Syria, Iraq coordination
To fire the missiles over Iraqi airspace, Iran should have definitely coordinated with Baghdad. This leaves us to believe that the US Coalition occupation forces operating in Iraq and Syria should also have been notified via Baghdad, but a statement from their spokesman said they received “no notice.” The target of the missiles in the eastern Euphrates area would have been close to US occupation forces and the forces they have been training to fight against the Syrian Arab Army. The US has repeatedly called them the “Syrian Defense Forces” but all intelligence reports from Syria, Russia, Iran, and Iraq have reiterated that these forces are none other than ISIS terrorists who put the Daesh flag down, shaved their beards, and joined the forces loyal to the US to get arms and money.
The attack shows Iran’s reach throughout the region and that Iran is willing to strike wherever a threat resides and knows that air defense systems in Iraq and those by the Coalition occupation forces in eastern Syria will not interdict it.
Activating the Quartet
As the Iranian missiles hit direct terrorist targets in the eastern part of the Euphrates, members of the quartet to exchange security information against Daesh, which includes Iran, Russia, Iraq and Syria, have confirmed in Baghdad that the committee’s activities will be strengthened and increased in the face of terrorism. During the meeting in Baghdad, which was attended by Iranian, Russian and Syrian ambassadors to Baghdad and Major General Osman al-Ghanmi, the chief of staff of Iraq, member states of the Quartet agreed on “the need to strengthen the activity of this committee to achieve the final victory”.
At the beginning of the meeting, Maj. Gen. Saad al-Alaq, director of military intelligence in Iraq, described the role of this committee in combating in Iraq and Syria as “very effective and successful.” For his part, Brigadier General Maradiyan, the Iranian military attaché in Baghdad, referred to the “fatal blows that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps missile unit has made to the terrorist positions in eastern Euphrates in the Syrian territories.”
Iran Firm on Fighting Terrorism
It is clear now that Iran is determined to continue cooperation with the regional axis of resistance states until the elimination of terrorism, which has recently been threatening its own Iranian citizens back home.
The ballistic missile strike comes in the wake of Iran’s statements at the United Nations General Assembly that the US is isolated and that Iran is the responsible player working with the international community. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made it clear while in New York that the US administration was engaged in “destructive unilateralism” and that the US was a “rogue administration” with a “commitment to destabilizing the international system.”
As the US and its regional Gulf allies increase their warmongering rhetoric against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the IRGC has been trying to downplay the US’s instability in the Middle East by coordinating its efforts with Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. The US, which is used to receiving little to no pushback for the massacres it directly or indirectly created across the Middle East, can expect to start receiving hard resistance this time.
The international community as always finds it difficult to condemn the illegal US presence in Iraq and Syria and its support for blood sucking Wahhabi regimes in the gulf while secretly fighting Al Saud’s war in Yemen causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and irreversible destruction. However, the increasing efforts of allies in the axis of resistance alongside their regional Russian partner has shown effectiveness and steadfastness in eliminating the threat of terrorism supported by the US and funded by their puppet regional gulf states. You see, there is no need for the international community to condemn or denounce the continuous US terrorism in the region under the pretext of spreading “democracy.” The regional anti-colonial and anti-Zionist players have set their minds to apply the real notion of democracy by collectively implementing their right to self-determination and their own path of choice in the face of the American war machine that has taken more than enough lives of our own across the region.
The IRGC’s retaliatory attack is a larger message than that of the ballistic missile strike. It shows that Iran can target the “Israeli” occupation forces in Palestine, the US bases in the region or the warmongering Al Saud when the time comes. It is just practicing by using its missiles on ISIS first.
*This article was originally published on the Alahednews.