Iran fires missiles against Islamic State in Syria

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   June 18, 2017 at 4:23 PM
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June 18 (UPI) -- Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on Sunday said it launched missiles into Syria targeting Islamic State militants in retaliation for the June 7 Tehran attack in which 18 people died.

The IRGC said it launched the mid-range missiles from bases in western Iran at Islamic State targets in Syria's Deir ez-Zor province, semi-official Fars News Agency reported. Iran identifies Islamic State militants as "Takfiri terrorists."

The Islamic State launched two coordinated attacks against Iran's Parliament and tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini on June 7 in Tehran. At least 52 people were injured. The five IS militants who carried out the attack died.

"The Takfiri terrorists' command center, concentration points and logistical centers used for assembling cars for suicide attacks in Deir ez-Zor region in eastern Syria came under attack by the IRGC moments ago in a move to punish the terrorists for the twin attacks on the Iranian parliament and the holy shrine of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini," the IRGC said in a statement Sunday night.

The IRGC said the operation "struck them with lethal and crushing blows," adding that intelligence reports indicate "a large number of Takfiri terrorists have been killed and their equipment, systems and weapons have been destroyed."

The IRGC said the missile strikes were a warning to deter future Islamic State attacks.

"The IRGC warns the Takfiri terrorists and their regional and trans-regional supporters that they would be engulfed by its revolutionary wrath and flames of the fire of its revenge in case they repeat any such devilish and dirty move in future," the IRGC added.

In the Tehran attack, witnesses said the gunmen wielded AK-47 rifles and hand grenades, and appeared to be outfitted with suicide vests. Iran's intelligence ministry said a third attack was prevented.

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