Country Risk

Iran says it hit targets in Syria with Zolfaghar ballistic missiles

19 June 2017
A photograph purportedly shows one of the missiles that the IRGC launched from Iran at Islamic State targets in Syria on the night of 18-19 June. The missile can be identified as a member of the Fateh-110 family. Source: IRIB

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on 19 June that it had launched ballistic missiles from Iran at terrorist targets in Syria: a move that seemingly confirms it has significantly extended the range of its solid-fuel missiles.

An IRGC spokesman told the Tasnim News Agency that six ballistic missiles were launched from the Iranian provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan and flew 650-700 km to hit terrorist headquarters and depots in Syria's Dayr al-Zawr province during the previous night.

He said the missiles were launched as part of Operation 'Laylat al-Qadr': a response to the 7 June attack on the parliament building and the mausoleum of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran, which was claimed by the Islamic State militant group.

The Iranian media released imagery of ballistic missiles being launched at night time, including photographs showing a member of the Fateh-110 family of solid-fuel ballistic missiles. As well as being easier to deploy than liquid-fuel 'Scud'-derivatives, these missiles are believed to have guidance systems that use commercial global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs) to make them far more accurate.

The IRGC spokesman said Zolfaghar (Zulfiqar) ballistic missiles, the newest and longest-range member of the family, were used in the attack. Unveiled in September 2016, the Zolfaghar is claimed to have a range of 700 km.

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