US says it downed Iran-made drone in Syria
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 8:32
The launch, which hit Syria's eastern city of Deir el-Zour on Sunday night, appeared to be Iran's first missile attack overseas in over 15 years and its first in the Syrian conflict, in which it has provided crucial support to embattled President Bashar Assad.
The missile attack on Syria was Iran's first strike outside its own territory in almost 30 years, the Times of Israel reported. That Islamic State assault, the first to hit Iran, shook residents who believed the chaos engulfing the rest of the Middle East would not find them.
The developments added to already-soaring regional tensions and reflect the intensifying rivalry among the major players in Syria's civil war that could spiral out of control just as the fight against the Islamic State group in its stronghold of Raqqa is gaining ground.
Iran had earlier insinuated that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia - its chief regional foe - had encouraged the June 7 attacks on Iran's Parliament and the mausoleum of the late Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, killing 17 people.
The pause was a "precautionary measure", the government said, without giving details.
A Syrian military official in Damascus said the truce was not extended.
The White House has not commented on Iran's missile attacks inside Syria. That is where USA forces have been training and advising local Syrian Arabs for the fight against Islamic State militants.
In February, Michael Flynn, who was then U.S. national security adviser and has since resigned, said the Trump administration was "putting Iran on notice" following an Iranian missile test and an attack on a Saudi warship by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Israel also remains concerned about Iran's missile launches. "We will slap them", Khamenei says in the video, before it fades into a footage of the missile launch on Sunday night.
Netanyahu often warns that Iran presents a threat to Israel and world stability.
The official was not authorized to be quoted by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The missile attack was the first by Iran outside its own territory in 30 years, since the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, media in the Islamic republic has reported.
Australia has six fighter jets based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that strike targets in Syria and Iraq.
Activists in Syria told AP they had no immediate information on damage or casualties from the strikes, which the Guards claim successfully hit their targets.
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Force, said the missiles were fired from the Iranian provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan and flew over Iraq before landing in Syria.