Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it has fired several missiles at ISIL positions in Syria’s Deir Az Zor province in retaliation for two deadly attacks in Tehran earlier this month that were claimed by the armed group.
“Medium-range missiles were fired from the (western) provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdestan, and a large number of terrorists were killed and weapons destroyed,” the Guard said in a statement published on its Sepahnews website on Sunday.
It said the attack targeted “a command base .. of the terrorists in Deir Ezzor”, using a different version of the name for the province in eastern Syria.
“The spilling of any pure blood will not go unanswered,” it added.
Iranian television showed footage of the missiles being launched into the night sky.
The firing of the missiles, the first in 30 years outside Iran’s own territory, came hours after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a statement on his website, vowed Iran would “slap its enemies” in honour of the victims’ families, including those killed in Syria and Iraq.
Deir Az Zor is an oil-rich province that links ISIL’s de-facto capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa, with territory controlled by the group in neighbouring Iraq.
Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from Gaziantep, near the Syria-Turkey border, called the firing of the missiles a “hugely significant and major development”.