Iran launches missiles at ISIL in eastern Syria
TEHRAN // Iran on Sunday launched missiles into eastern Syria in response to an attack on its parliament and a shrine in Tehran by ISIL militants.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned that it would retaliate similarly against anyone else carrying out attacks in Iran.
The launch of surface-to-surface medium range missiles into Syria’s Deir Ezzor province comes as ISIL militants fleeing a US-led coalition onslaught increasingly try to fortify their positions there.
Activists in Syria said they had no immediate information on damage or casualties from the strikes, launched from Iran’s Kurdistan and Kermanshah provinces. Social media was awash with shaky mobile phone footage from those areas, allegedly showing the missiles rise in an orange glow before heading toward their targets.
Sunday’s assault marked an extremely rare direct attack from the Islamic Republic amid its support for embattled Syrian president Bashar Assad. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a hard-line paramilitary force, has seen advisers and fighters killed in the conflict.
A Guard statement carried on its website said many “terrorists” were killed and their weapons had been destroyed in the strike.
The Guard warned ISIL militants and their “regional and international supporters” that similar retaliatory attacks would target them as well if another assault in Iran occurred.
Activists in Syria did not immediately have information about the Iranian-claimed strikes.
Five ISIL-linked attackers stormed Iran’s parliament and a shrine to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on June 7, killing at least 17 people and wounding more than 50.
It was the first such attack in Iran and shocked Iranians who believed the chaos engulfing the rest of the Middle East would not find them in the Shiite-majority nation.
* Associated Press
Updated: June 19, 2017 04:00 AM