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IRGC Contradicts Rouhani-- Missile Attack Was Ordered By Khamenei

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps launch a missile from an undisclosed location in western Iran, towards IS bases in Syria, June 18, 2017

The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, IRGC, on Wednesday issued a statement trying to deny credit to Rouhani for the missile attacks against the Islamic State group in Syria.

The statement asserts that the Leila Olqadr (Night of Power) operation was carried out according to military’s hierarchical command system and per orders of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces [Supreme Leader Khamenei].”

It is not yet clear why the statement is published three days after the missile attacks.

Hours earlier, President Hassan Rouhani had reiterated that IRGC missile attacks were ordered by the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), where he presides over.

The operation was announced as retaliation for the June 17 terror attacks targeting the mausoleum of the founder of Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini and the Iranian parliament in Tehran. IS group claimed responsibility.

President Rouhani, while hailing IRGC’s missile attacks as “correct, timely and necessary”, emphasized that it “is not a decision made by one individual or a military organ, but such decisions are made in the Supreme Council of National Security” and he added that the council had given even more authority to the armed forces to retaliate against “terrorists”.

Meanwhile, Rouhani’s Intelligence minister, Mahmoud Alavi had claimed that the IRGC operation was carried out with intelligence and data provided by the ministry, especially the exact location of IS leaders.

The IRGC statement also implicitly denies Alavi’s claim, “The operations followed reconnaissance and data collected by forces in the theatre of operation”; meaning IRGC units in Syria.

It added that the positions and command headquarters of “terrorists” in Deir Ezzur province of Syria were the target of the operations.

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s officials insist that the IRGC’s missile attacks as a great success. But they have issued different IS casualty figures; ranging from 85 to 170. These numbers have not been confirmed by independent sources.

Praising “this great success” Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri warned, “If the Americans and the Zionists (Israel) do not change their manners, we will take more drastic steps-hereby announcing that we have the means of punishment at our disposal.”

However, Israeli military chief Gadi Eisenkot said Tehran was lying about the strike: “Their achievement was less than what was reported in the media. The strike manifested something, but it was far from a direct hit or what they have said,” Eisenkot told the Herzliya policy conference on Tuesday.