Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that it has launched six ballistic missiles into eastern Syria from its bases in Kermanshah and Kordestan provinces, targeting Islamic State (IS) fighters in retaliation for last week’s attack on the parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini that killed 18 people.
The strike represent a major escalation of Iran’s role in the Syria civil war as it was the first time they have fired missiles at another country in three decades. The operation was codenamed “Laylat al-Qadr” and coordinated with Syria’s government. The missiles has a reported range of 650 to 700 kilometres.
Several “ground-to-ground, mid-range missiles” were fired from bases in Kermanshah province, western Iran. The operation “targeted Takfiri (ISIS) forces in the Deir Ezzor region in Eastern Syria”, IRGC said in a statement. According to a report by Fars News Agency, Iran has used both Zolfaqar and Qiyam missiles for its retaliatory attacks.
Six assailants killed at least 16 people at Iran’s Parliament building and a shrine dedicated to the republic’s revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini. The attacks marked the the first time that ISIS, a Sunni Muslim group fighting Iranian-backed militias in Syria, has claimed responsibility for an attack in Iran.
Iran backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his fight against anti-government rebel groups and ISIS.