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Country Risk

Iran launches missiles against Islamic State in Syria again

03 October 2018
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salvo of Zolfaghar ballistic missiles are seen being launched from a base in Kermanshah at targets in eastern Syria early on 1 October. Source: Sepah News

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) launched ballistic missiles at militants in a foreign country for the third time on 1 October.

The IRGC announced it launched six medium-range ballistic missiles at 0200 h local time (2230 h GMT on 30 September) at the headquarters of the "the Ahvaz terrorist group" that was responsible for a shooting attack on a military parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz that killed 25 people on 22 September. It added that the target was in eastern Syria 570 km from the missile bases in western Iran from where the missiles were launched.

The missile bombardment was followed by an attack by seven armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and initial reports indicated that some of the leaders behind the parade attack had been killed or injured and ammunition stockpiles destroyed, the IRGC said.

The Fars News Agency reported that Qiam and Zolfaghar (Zulfiqar) missiles were launched at the target near the Syrian town of Al-Bu Kammal, close to the Iraqi border. The town is held by pro-government forces that include Iranian-backed militia, but there is still a pocket of Islamic State territory to the north.

The Qiam is a significantly improved derivative of the liquid-fuel R-17 'Scud' missile, while the Zolfaghar is the longest-range member of Iran's Fateh-110 family of solid-propellant tactical ballistic missiles. Both types have separating re-entry vehicles (RVs).

The IRGC released footage showing four Fateh-110-series missiles and probably two 'Scud'-type missiles - at least one with a RV with fins - being launched from a base north of Kermanshah city.

It also released footage that claimed the follow-on attack involved a Saeqeh stealth UAV that launched at least one guided bomb from an internal weapons bay.

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