Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Iran's Khamenei ordered missile strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria: Guards

Sammy Stanley | 29 June, 2017, 08:57

Australia on Tuesday suspended its airstrikes against IS targets in Syria as a precaution, after Russian Federation announced it was suspending the hotline and warned the USA -led coalition not to fly over Syrian army positions west of the Euphrates River.

Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, the spokesman for the US -led air war command at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, said the hotline had not been interrupted.

Iran has been boasting about the missile launches all day and released a number of videos.

Israeli security officials said Monday they were studying the missile strike to see what they could learn about its accuracy and capabilities.

Israel and Iran are bitter enemies.

Iran's military said Sunday that it has launched several missiles into eastern Syria, targeting Islamic State fighters in retaliation for the twin attacks that rocked Tehran on June 7. The Bahraini cleric wrote religious justifications for the enslavement of hundreds of women from Iraq's Yazidi minority and helped establish the IS branch in Libya.

USA and Russian officials had agreed to a ceasefire, which ended on Monday, during talks in Amman aimed at strengthening goodwill before more detailed negotiations on setting up the "de-escalation zone", diplomats in Jordan said. The airfield may be the source of drones that have recently threatened US troops.

Iran has said it will give a fitting response to the new United States sanctions.

Russian Federation said on Friday it was seeking to verify whether Baghdadi was killed when its warplanes hit the group's leaders in a night raid in Syria last month.

The chief of staff of the country's armed forces said that the Islamic Republic is one of the biggest missile powers because of the "blood of martyrs and efforts made by domestic scientists".

This month, an American F-15E shot down an Iranian-made drone after it attacked American fighters in southeastern Syria. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The Iranians have been basing Shahed-129 drones at the airfield, according to the officials.

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The US military has repeatedly warned forces fighting on Assad's side to stay away from a "deconfliction zone", agreed with Russian Federation, near a garrison used by US Special Forces and US-backed armed groups around Al-Tanf. The truce was meant to be extended but now appears to have collapsed. The 48-hour truce that had started there at noon Saturday was supposed to be extended.

"The situation is back as it was in Daraa city and fighting is ongoing", said Daraa-based opposition activist Ahmad al-Masalmeh. He is blaming the government for the truce's collapse.

Daraa is where the March 2011 uprising against the Assad family's four-decade rule began. The crisis quickly became a civil war, which has since left at least 400,000 people dead.

They should put aside rivalries and blind support for this or that group and attempt to put an end to the six years of suffering Syrians have gone through, with the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty a prime, and sacred, concern.

"I hope that the clear message of this attack will be understood by the terrorists as well as their regional and global supporters", said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace unit, according to the website of Iranian state television.

President Hassan Rouhani has defended the missile strikes by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on the positions of the self-styled Islamic States militants in Syria as a "right" and "necessary" move. On Tuesday, he mocked Iran's first strike against ISIS in Syria.

It was not known what exactly was hit and Iran has provided no details. The location where the sixth missile struck is unknown. Iranian television showed footage of the missiles being launched into the night sky.

Elsewhere, he noted the ample opportunities for cooperation between the two countries, saying "economic, political and security cooperation between Iran and Iraq has arrived at a point where we need a comprehensive trade and economic cooperation document for its further development".

Bir Qassab fell to Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels after it was abandoned a few months ago by Islamic State (IS) militants beating an eastward retreat to reinforce their urban bastion, Raqqa, against a US -backed coalition offensive, and oil rich Deir al Zor province, which borders Iraq.

In Canberra, a Defense Department statement said on Tuesday that "Australian Defense Force protection is regularly reviewed in response to a range of potential threats".

But he warned that Iraq "should not trust" the United States, which is leading a coalition fighting IS in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

The U.S. -led coalition in Syria meanwhile is keeping a close eye on Iran's military involvement with the Syrian regime.

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