Iran will fire 'roaring missiles' if threatened, military commander warns

A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, in this March 9, 2016 file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 04 February 2017
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Iran will fire 'roaring missiles' if threatened, military commander warns

DUBAI: An Iranian military commander said on Saturday that his country would use its missiles against its enemies if they threaten the country’s security.
"If the enemy does not walk the line, our missiles come down on them," Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace unit, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.
“We are working day and night to protect Iran’s security. If we see smallest misstep from the enemies, our roaring missiles will fall on their heads,” Hajizadeh was also quoted in another report by Tasnim news agency.
Hajizadeh's comments come during a military exercise by the Revolutionary Guard aimed at testing its missile and radar systems.
The exercise comes a day after US President Donald Trump's administration imposed sanctions on Iran for a recent missile test.
The United States sanctioned 13 individuals and 12 entities related to Iran’s missile program and Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn said the United States was putting Iran on notice over its “destabilizing activity.”
The Guards’ Sepahnews website said the maneuvers in the northeastern province of Semnan were aimed at demonstrating their “complete preparedness to deal with the threats” and “humiliating sanctions” from Washington.
“Different types of domestically produced radar and missile systems, command and control centers, and cyber warfare systems will be used in this exercise,” it said.
A list of the missiles to be deployed published later on the website showed they were of very short range — up to 75 kilometers (47 miles).
Although tensions between Washington and Iran have risen, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday he was not considering raising the number of US forces in the Middle East to address Iran’s “misbehavior” at this time, but warned that the world would not ignore Iranian activities.
Iran has one of the Middle East’s largest missile programs and held a similar exercise in December to showcase its defense systems, including radars, anti-missile defense units, and short and medium-range missiles.
Tehran confirmed on Wednesday that it had test-fired a new ballistic missile, but said the test did not breach the Islamic Republic’s nuclear agreement with world powers or a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the pact.
Iran has test-fired several ballistic missiles since the nuclear deal in 2015, but the latest test was the first since Trump entered the White House. Trump said during his election campaign that he would stop Iran’s missile program.
The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday and recommended the missile testing be studied at committee level. The new US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, called the test “unacceptable.”
The Security Council resolution was adopted to buttress the deal under which Iran curbed its nuclear activities to allay concerns they could be used to develop atomic bombs, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
The resolution urged Tehran to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Critics say the resolution’s language does not make this obligatory.
Tehran says it has not carried out any work on missiles specifically designed to carry nuclear payloads.


Syria state media says US-led coalition hits regime position in east

Updated 19 min 41 sec ago
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Syria state media says US-led coalition hits regime position in east

  • In the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Syrian government forces have carried out parallel but separate offensives against Daesh
  • Regime forces control land west of the Euphrates River that runs through the province

DAMASCUS: Syrian state media said overnight Sunday to Monday that US-led coalition aircraft had carried out a deadly strike on a regime position in the country’s east near the Iraqi border.
Both US-backed Kurdish-led fighters and Russia-supported regime forces are separately fighting the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor.
“Aircraft of the American coalition bombarded one of our military positions in the area of Al-Hari southeast of Albu Kamal” town in Deir Ezzor, state news agency SANA reported a military source as saying, adding a number of people had been killed.
IS overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” in areas they controlled.
But the jihadists have since lost most of that territory, in Syria seeing their presence largely reduced to the country’s vast desert and a few villages near the frontier with Iraq.
In the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Syrian government forces have carried out parallel but separate offensives against Daesh.
Regime forces control land west of the Euphrates River that runs through the province, while the SDF are battling to expel IS from a string of villages on the river’s eastern banks near the Iraqi border.
Both sides have mostly avoided running into each other and a deconfliction line exists to avoid such incidents.
But there have been exceptions.
In April, rare clashes broke out between both sides, killing more than a dozen combatants.
In February, the US-led coalition backing the SDF carried out air strikes in Deir Ezzor province that killed at least 100 pro-regime fighters.
Washington said the strikes were in retaliation for an attack on its own personnel and SDF forces.