Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched six ballistic missiles yesterday morning toward eastern Syria, targeting militants it blamed for an attack on a military parade in Iran last month while also threatening regional adversaries as Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers unravels.
The launch saw the Guard fire missiles with enough range to strike regional U.S. military bases and targets inside both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Iran's supreme leader has called out those two nations by name, accusing them of being behind the Sept. 22 attack on the parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz, something denied by both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
Yesterday's strike marked the second-such attack by Iran in a month's time and highlighted the greater tension felt across the Mideast as U.S. sanctions targeting Tehran's oil industry will take effect in early November.
Iranian TV identified the area from where the missiles were launched as in Iran's western province of Kermanshah. It also aired a graphic, suggesting the missiles flew over central Iraq near the city of Tikrit before landing near the city of Boukamal in the far southeast of Syria.
Boukamal is held by forces loyal to Syria's Bashar Assad. However, the city has been targeted even now by Daesh militants who have lost almost all the territory they once held in both Syria and Iraq.
A Syria-based official with the so-called "Axis of Resistance" led by Iran, which includes Iran, Syria, the Lebanese militant Hezbollah and other groups fighting alongside Bashar Assad's forces said the missiles hit ‘the last pocket held by Daesh" in Syria.
This is the third time in about a year that Iran has fired its ballistic missiles in anger. Last year, Iran fired ballistic missiles into Syria over a bloody Daesh attack on Tehran targeting parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In September, Iran fired missiles into Iraq targeting a base of an Iranian Kurdish separatist group. The separatists say that strike killed at least 15 people and wounded over 50.