TEHRAN – Late on Sunday Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps fired six missiles into eastern Syria, targeting Islamic State strongholds in retaliation for the recent ISIS-claimed terrorist attacks in Tehran.
The national TV showed footages of missile attacks being launched from western Iran.
“In the operation, code-named Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Destiny), the Guards launched six medium-range ballistic missiles at various targets in ranges between 650km to 700km,” Tasnim news agency quoted IRGC spokesman Ramazan Sahrif as saying on Monday.
Targeting “headquarters and gathering centers of Takfiri terrorists” in the Deir al Zour region of eastern Syria, the missiles used the Iraqi airspace.
The IRGC spokesman says the missile operation “is just a very small part of the capability of Iran’s punitive force against the terrorists and its enemies.” “The missiles were launched in coordination with Syria beforehand,” the IRGC official said.
The IRGC launched the missiles from western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan, home to Sunni Kurdish populations.
“The missile firings from the two Sunni-majority provinces at headquarters of Daesh terrorists carries the massage of unity of all Iranians in the face of terrorists,” Sharif added.
The missiles successfully hit the targets, Sahrif said.
The missile operation “is just a very small part of the capability of Iran’s punitive force against the terrorists and its enemies,” Sharif further noted.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC aerospace unit, hailed the missile raids, saying any more evil act against Iran will result in “costly consequences”.
“Our enemies should know that Tehran is not London or Paris,” Hajizadeh stated, a reference to the European capitals coming under numerous terrorist attacks over the past years.
Iran vowed quick revenge after ISIS suicide bombers and gunmen stormed the parliament and the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini on June 7, killing 18 and injuring at least 56.
In a statement after the attacks, the IRGC issued a statement vowing avenge. “The spilling of any pure blood will not go unanswered,” read part of the statement.
Also, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, head of the Iranian armed forces, pledged “unforgettable lessons” to terrorists and their backers after the Tehran assault.
Former IRGC chief Mohsen Rezaei tweeted, “This was just the beginning of the revenge. Harder slap is underway”.
Rezaei also called the missile attacks “the message of Iran’s authority” to “supporters of terrorism.”
Iran had earlier implicitly suggested that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, its chief regional foe, had insinuated the terrorist attacks in Tehran.
The operation comes just days after the U.S. Senate passed the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act by an overwhelming margin, a new sanctions legislation which targets Iran’s ballistic missile program and applies sanctions against the IRGC.
The attack also sends a clear warning signal to Saudi Arabia which has been for some time trying to test Iran’s patience.
“Saudi Arabia and other countries supporting terrorism should know that the Islamic Republic has no joking with anybody,” senior MP Alaedin Boroujerdi said on Monday.
“We have entered a new phase of fighting terrorists in the region,” added Boroujerdi, chairman of the parliamentary national security and foreign policy committee.