Iran has fired missiles into eastern Syria targeting the Islamic State (IS) militant group which was behind the attack on the Iranian parliament and a shrine in Tehran.
The powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) military organization (IRGC) said in a statement on June 18 that it launched mid-range ground-to-ground missiles from western Iran into the Deir al-Zour region of eastern Syria, killing a "large number" of "terrorists."
IRGC said the missiles targeted the "headquarters and gathering centers of Takfiri terrorists supporting and building car bombs."
The missile attacks came a week after IS militants attacked the Iranian parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic.
The IRGC statement added that "the spilling of any pure blood will not go unanswered."
However, the military rationale for choosing long range missiles, fired from Iran, is not very clear. Such missiles are not very accurate for pinpointing specific building and leadership targets.
Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who is visiting Mauritania tweeted Monday morning that the missile launch was in self-defense.
Iran, a predominantly Shi'ite country, often refers to Sunni Muslim radicals as Takfiris.
Iran has been a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the civil war and the IRGC has played a crucial role on the ground.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AP