Iran’s Phase I of Ahvaz Retaliation in Syria
DEIR EZ-ZOR GOVERNORATE (OCTOBER 6, 2018) – Upon the terrorist attack on the Iranian military parade in the southern Iranian city of Ahvaz by 4 militants, Iran responds aggressively in what is proclaimed as only the first stage of retaliation.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) initiated a response to the Ahvaz attack on a military parade weeks earlier, which resulted in the death of over 20 Iranian personnel, as well as significant injuries on the civilian population present at the parade. This attack would represent the second large-scale attack Iran has initiated in 9 months, largely in effort to demonstrate a show of force. The earlier attack was conducted in similar fashion, with airstrikes targeting Deir ez-Zor as ISIS militants participated in a terrorism-based shooting in Tehran earlier. The IRGC in a statement reported that the strikes were targeting the ringleaders of the Ahvaz attack in revenge, and were reported productive in doing so.
4 missiles were launched from an Iranian base at ISIS at Hajin city and Al-Shaafah in the Eastern Euphrates ISIS-controlled Hajin pocket. Iranian-drones then participated in strikes against ISIS in the eastern Euphrates province later that morning. The drones appear to be reverse-engineered versions of a captured US R.Q-170 drone.
U.S officials and Kurdish counterparts stated 24 hours afterwards in a statement that Iran was very reckless in its striking capability due to the location of U.S ground personnel as close as 3 kilometers from the positions which were attacked. US ground troops and multiple Kurdish military wings are currently participating in an offensive against ISIS in the Eastern Euphrates corridor, which is among the last ground-held strongholds of ISIS. The relatively small area is densely concentrated in Islamic State militants on the inside, US and Kurdish troops on the outskirts, and Iranian missile and drone strikes targeting the inner ISIS held core.
It has not been made clear by the IRGC or Iranian officials on how many phases of the attack are present, or what they consist of. Developments continue from all factions involved in Deir ez-Zor.