0903 GMT September 20, 2017
The IRGC announced on Sunday that six medium-range ground-to-ground missiles were fired from Iran’s western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdestan into Syria's mostly Daesh-held Deir ez-Zor Province.
It added the projectiles targeted a Daesh command base, killing a large number of terrorists and destroying a large amount of weapons, ammunition, and equipment.
The state television said the attack killed a Daesh commander, a Saudi national named Saad al-Husseini, known as Abu Saad.
“The spilling of innocent blood will not go unanswered," said the IRGC in a statement.
It further assured the Iranian nation that it will “spare no efforts to defend the national security and obviate plots as well as anti-security phenomena.”
The missile attack was the first by Iran outside its own territory in 30 years, since the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88.
The strike came after deadly twin attacks in Tehran on June 7, the first ones in Iran claimed by Daesh.
Iran has arrested dozens of terrorists since the Tehran attacks.
Iran anti-terror fight
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday defended the country’s right to develop its missile program, saying it is aimed at uprooting terrorism and extremism.
“Iran’s missile capability protects its citizens in lawful self-defense,” the minister said on his Twitter account on Monday following the missile attack against Daesh.
He added that the Islamic Republic’s missile power advances common global campaign to eradicate Daesh, extremism and terrorism.
IRGC spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif warned terrorists and their sponsors about “more serious revenge” should they try their hands at staging more terror attacks against the Islamic Republic.
Speaking to Press TV on Monday, Sharif said that the counterstrike has taken place “on a very limited scale."
“If similar behavior is repeated with similar terrorist operations, more serious revenge will be exacted on them by our missile power and also by our forces against terrorists,” he cautioned.
“The message of this operation for terrorist groups and also their regional and international sponsors is that they should never try to undermine the national security of Iran,” he noted.
“Fortunately, all incoming reports and images of drones which were monitoring the operation suggest that the six medium-range powerful Iranian missiles have precisely hit the targets, the key bases of terrorists in the general area of Deir ez-Zor inside Syria.”
He said field reports gleaned by the IRGC suggested that the attack had inflicted considerable casualties on terrorist groups and destroyed their equipment and systems.
The retaliation, he said, came after the IRGC vowed to retaliate against the terror assaults.
Missiles hit target
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Force, said on Monday that the missiles fired at Daesh positons have found their targets with maximum accuracy.
"The UAVs which had been flown from around Damascus to Deir ez-Zor transmitted the moments of impact to us in Iran," Hajizadeh said, adding "the missiles precisely hit their targets."
"Our enemies must know that Tehran is not London and Paris. This was a small job and if they put another foot wrong, more deadly blows will come down on their heads," he added.
Expert examinations of the footage broadcast on state television of the attack identified at least one of the projectiles as the Zolfaqar missile. Among Iran's medium-range missiles, Shahab 2 and Qiam can fly as far as 700 and 800 kilometers respectively.
Zolfaqar is a solid-fueled medium-range ballistic missile (SRBM) that can reach 700 to 750 kilometers and is accurate within five to 10 meters.
The projectile uses a multiple reentry vehicle payload, featuring a cluster warhead that can shower an area with sub-munitions. That explains why the missile was used against multiple targets in Sunday's attack, including Daesh's command center, gathering points and ammunition depots.
Other features include the missile's radar-evading and anti-jamming properties and operation with mobile and self-propelled light tactical launchers.
"Identifying terrorist bases and possessing intelligence command in this regard are a world of issues. Firing missiles from a 600-700-kilometer range and landing it over a small building carries a message, meaning they would realize where Iran's fineness is," Hajizadeh said.