Iran fires missiles into Syria over parade attack

Missiles and drone attack target fighters in southeastern Syria blamed for a deadly attack on a military parade in Iran.

    Iran fires missiles into Syria over parade attack
    The attack on the military parade in Ahvaz on September 22 killed at least 29 people and wounded 70 [Tasnim News Agency/Reuters]

    Iran's Revolutionary Guard has said it launched ballistic missiles into eastern Syria, targeting fighters it blamed for a recent attack on a military parade in southwestern Iran.

    "Our iron fist is prepared to deliver a decisive and crushing response to any wickedness and mischief of the enemies," the Guards said in a statement on Monday.

    The attack took place at 2am local time and targeted the bases of "takfiri terrorists" backed by America and regional powers in eastern Syria, the statement said. Iranian officials often use the word "takfiri" to describe Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) fighters.

    The powerful military force said at least six missiles were fired into Syria. It added that seven drones were also used to bomb rebel targets during the attack, which killed a number of fighters and destroyed supplies and infrastructure used by the group.

    Syrian state media did not immediately acknowledge the missile strike - the second such attack on Syria in more than a year.

    Footage aired by the Iranian state television showed one of its reporters standing by as one of the missiles was launched, identifying the area as being in Iran's western province of Kermanshah.

    A state TV-aired graphic suggested the missiles flew over central Iraq near the city of Tikrit before landing near the city of Al Bukamal, in the far southeastern region of Syria.

    Al Bukamal is held by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but occasionally it has been targeted by fighters from the ISIL, who have lost almost all the territory they once held in Syria and Iraq.



    Al Jazeera's Zein Basravi, reporting from Tehran, said Iran is illustrating it has the "ability and the military might to target any threat it sees to itself".

    "The missile attacks were followed by bombardment ... signalling their military capabilities in the region," he said.

    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had said the deadly Iran attack was linked to the United States' "allies in the region".

    Saudi Arabia and the UAE have denied involvement in the attack.

    The Ahvaz National Resistance, an Iranian ethnic Arab separatist movement, and the ISIL have both claimed responsibility for the September 22 attack in which 29 people were killed. Neither group has presented conclusive evidence to back up their claim.

    The attack prompted President Hassan Rouhani to warn of a "crushing response", as those killed included members of the elite Revolutionary Guards and women and children who had come to watch the parade.

    Iran initially blamed Arab separatists for the attack in which gunmen disguised as soldiers opened fire on the crowd and officials watching the parade from a viewing platform in the southwestern city.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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