Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Syrian military says seizes ground towards Iraqi border

A Look at Iranian Newspaper Front Pages on June 18- afkar Syrian military says seizes ground towards Iraqi border
Melinda Barton | 29 June, 2017, 08:58

The US military says it has shot down an armed, Iran-made drone that had been bearing down on its forces near a garrison in Syria's southeast.

Tasnim quoted a statement made by the IRGC public relations office Sunday as saying: "a number of mid-range ground-to-ground missiles were fired from the IRGC aerospace force's bases in Iran's western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan".

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.

Activists and Islamic State supporters reported his death at the time, but Tuesday's statement from Central Command was the first US confirmation.

A similar drone - an Iranian Shahed 129 - was shot down in the same location after it dropped munitions near coalition forces on June 8.

The launch takes place just a couple of hours after Iran's Supreme leader said "they can not slap us in the face".

A spokesman for the Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Ramazan Sharif, said all six ballistic missiles hit their targets, citing "local sources" and drone footage.

It is likely that the strike was not only meant to hit ISIS but to send a message to Iran's adversaries, particularly the USA, whose air force is operating in Syria in support of a Kurdish-Arab alliance besieging the eastern city of Raqqa, and Saudi Arabia.

The complex attacks in Tehran included shootings and at least one suicide bombing at the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, south of the capital.

Its fighters are surrounded in the Old City of Iraq's Mosul, and under attack in their Syrian stronghold of Raqa from a US-backed alliance that has also seized four neighbourhoods of the city.

Activists and IS supporters reported his death at the time but Tuesday's statement from Central Command was the first US confirmation.

The attack was similar to one earlier this month in which an Iranian drone shot on US forces in Syria.

Russia, like Iran, an ally of Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, issued a warning of its own to the United States in response to the downing of the Syrian jet, saying on Monday it would view as targets any planes flying west of the Euphrates river, though it stopped short of saying it would shoot any down.

The attacks have showcased the depth of Iran's military presence in Syria: Iranian drones launched from areas around Damascus allowed Revolutionary Guard commanders to assess the damage done by the missiles in real-time.

Washington also described those strikes as self-defence. "The coalition does not seek to fight the Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat".