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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Iran Launches Missile Attack on Syrian Base

According to a report by the French news agency AFP, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard announced that it had fired medium range missiles at ISIS targets in northeastern Syria, specifically at the ISIS post in Deir Ezzor.  The IRG said that the attacks were in retaliation for the terrorist attacks in Teheran earlier this month.  This is an major development for a whole host of reasons.

1.  The target supposedly hit by the missiles is over 1000 miles from their launch site.  We don't know how precise the targeting was, but if the missiles were on target, this is much longer range than Iran's missiles previously were known to have.   It may well be that Iran just launched the missiles at the town rather than at the ISIS headquarters there.  The Iranians have never cared much about civilian casualties, and they would not mind killing scores or more of Syrian Sunni civilians who are, in Iranian eyes, infidels.  We will have to wait to see if the missile story is even true and what damage was done by them if the story is true.  An accurate missile with a 1000 mile range, however, would be a major accomplishment for Iran and bad news for the world as a whole.

2.  Iran blamed the Saudis when the terror attacks struck Teheran; they denied that ISIS was involved.  Now Iran has struck back against ISIS.  This makes clear that the Iranians were just lying when they blamed the Saudis.  It should inform the rest of the world about Iranian dishonesty.

3.  The site hit by Iran is one of those that stands in the way of there being a land road between Iran and Lebanon through Iraq and Syria.  Iran desires control of these roads in order to send large supplies of weapons to both the Assad regime and to Hezbollah without having to resort to subterfuge.  If the attack at Deir Ezzor is followed with a ground assault in Syria by Assad/Iranian forces, we will know that the missile attack was actually part of a bigger plan and had nothing to do with the terror attack in Teheran.

4.  The attack should raise alarms in Israel and Washington.  For Israel, the existence of accurate Iranian missiles puts the entirety of Israel in the cross hairs of Iran.  Fortunately the Iron Dome system should be able to shoot down such missiles, but a sustained large volley of them would likely result in some getting through nevertheless.  For the Iranians, it would be enough to hit Tel Aviv no matter what site the missiles destroyed.  In Teheran, it would be seen as a victory if they just killed 40 people in an apartment complex.  For Washington, these missiles would indicate that Iran is close to creating intercontinental ballistic missiles which could hit the USA.  Alternatively, Iran could put nuclear armed missiles like those launched today on cargo ships and then launch them from 1000 miles offshore.

All in all, this is not a good development.

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