by WorldTribune Staff, June 20, 2017
Iran’s mostly-errant missile launches at Islamic State (ISIS) targets were not just a retaliatory strike on the terror group but a warning to the United States and Saudi Arabia, an Iranian general said.
“The Saudis and Americans are especially receivers of this message,” Gen. Ramazan Sharif of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) told state television in a telephone interview.
“Obviously and clearly, some reactionary countries of the region, especially Saudi Arabia, had announced that they are trying to bring insecurity into Iran.”
However, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on June 19 that just one of the seven missiles which Iran fired reached its target in what was Iran’s first missile attack abroad in more than 15 years.
“Iran is trying to play at being a great power,” explained Channel 2 Middle East analyst Ehud Ya’ari. “There was no operational need to attack ISIS from within Iranian territory.”
The IRGC said the June 18 missile strike on ISIS targets in eastern Syria were revenge for ISIS attacks in Teheran earlier this month that killed at least 18 people and wounded more than 50, the first such attacks in Iran by the terror organization.
The missiles were launched from Kermanshah in western Iran near the border with Iraq. Iraqi lawmaker Abdul-Bari Zebari said his country agreed to the missile overflight after coordination with Iran, Russia and Syria.
According to Ya’ari, three of the seven missiles did not even reach Syrian territory, and instead landed in Iraq. One missile managed to strike within a few hundred meters of its target, but still missed. A fifth missile landed in the Deir Ezzor region, which was far from the ISIS position it had been intended for. The location where the sixth missile struck is unknown.
A former IRGC leader took to Twitter to reiterate the point that while the missile strike targeted ISIS it also served as a warning to Saudi and the U.S.
“The bigger slap is yet to come,” the ex-IRGC leader tweeted.