Iran's Missile Power Aims to Eradicate Terrorism, Extremism: Zarif

Frederick Owens
June 21, 2017

The U.S. -led coalition fighting the Islamic State group said a U.S. F-15 fighter jet shot down the drone "after it displayed hostile intent" while approaching a military camp near the Syria-Jordan border.

Iran's much-vaunted missile strike on Islamic State targets in Syria late Sunday was a flop, with six of the seven medium-range missiles it fired failing to hit their target, Israeli sources said Monday. Iran is a solid backer of the Syrian regime and has given President Bashar Assad extensive military and political support.

"We follow their actions and we follow their words", he said Monday.

A growing number of U.S. attacks targeting the Syrian government and militias aligned with the Syrian government are a sign that the United States involvement in the Syrian Civil War is widening, and nothing was so indicative of this than yesterday's USA downing of a Syrian Su-22 bomber.

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on Sonday targeted the "terrorists" command centers in Syria's Deir ez-Zor with its missiles.

"The SDF is getting big-headed", said the pro-Damascus military commander, a non-Syrian who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Speaking in Washington, the top USA military officer said the two sides discussed the matter as recently as Monday morning but that further talks are needed.

A top Russian diplomat has condemned the United States for shooting down a Syrian Air Force fighter jet the previous day as an act of "aggression".

But if America has chose to use its air power to shoot down Syrian planes attacking rebels we support, this could lead to a confrontation with Russian Federation and a broader, more unsafe, and deadly war for the United States.

Moscow has condemned the USA downing of the Syrian government fighter jet after it dropped bombs nears US partner forces. During their bloody war eight year war, Iran and Iraq fired hundreds of ballistic missiles at one another, mostly inaccurate Scud missiles that were mostly used as terror weapons against civilian targets.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard launched missiles into eastern Syria targeting Islamic State militants Sunday in response to an attack on Iran's parliament and a shrine in Tehran, warning that it would similarly retaliate on anyone else carrying out attacks in Iran.

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The firing of the missiles, the first in 30 years outside Iran's own territory, came hours after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a statement on his website, vowed Iran would "slap its enemies" in honor of the victims' families, including those killed in Syria and Iraq.

Earlier, Iran had implicitly suggested that the US and Saudi Arabia, its chief regional foe, had insinuated the terrorist attacks in Tehran.

As it tries to craft a Syria strategy, the Trump administration is divided between those who consider Islamic State the primary enemy and some officials who think the war in Syria is part of an existential struggle between the United States and its Gulf allies on the one hand and Iran on the other, said a third US official, who has participated in government deliberations on Syria. It's also aimed to tell the USA that Iran is fighting the Islamic State on its own terms, Handjani said.

"The missiles were launched in coordination with Syria", the IRGC official said.

These have included several air strikes against pro-government forces that have sought to advance towards a US base in southeastern Syria near the border with Iraq, where the USA military has been training Syrian rebels to fight IS.

Going one step further, the argument would note: Even if Iran's nuclear program is now delayed by its deal with the West, in around another eight years, Iran could be launching ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads attached.

Now it appears that the only message the Islamic regime in Iran actually sent out was, was that they flopped.

Iranian officials meanwhile offered a series of threats of more strikes, including former Guard chief Gen. Mohsen Rezai.

The Russian defense ministry said in a statement on Monday that it was suspending the deal after the USA military confirmed that it downed a Syrian Air Force fighter jet on Sunday after it dropped bombs near US partner forces.

A number of news outlets describe the attack as an escalation in the Syrian Civil War, but from an Iranian perspective this may not necessarily the case.

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