In this picture released by the Iranian state-run IRIB News Agency on Monday, June 19, 2017, a missile is fired from city of Kermanshah in western Iran targeting the Islamic State group in Syria. Iran’s powerful Islamic State, a paramilitary force in charge of the country’s missile program, said it launched six Zolfaghar ballistic missiles from the western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan. (IRIB News Agency, Morteza Fakhrinejad via AP) (Associated Press)
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran says its ballistic missile strike targeting the Islamic State group in Syria was not only a response to deadly attacks in Tehran, but a powerful message to archrival Saudi Arabia and the United States, one that could add to already soaring regional tensions.
The launch, which hit Syria’s eastern city of Deir el-Zour on Sunday night, appeared to be Iran’s first missile attack abroad in over 15 years and its first in the Syrian conflict, in which it has provided crucial support to embattled President Bashar Assad.
It comes amid the worsening of a long-running feud between Shiite powerhouse Iran and Saudi Arabia, with supports Syrian rebels and has led recent efforts to isolate the Gulf nation of Qatar.
It also raises questions about how U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which had previously put Iran “on notice” for its ballistic missile tests, will respond.
(Hat tip: Larry Hampton)