INVOLVED IN THIS ARTICLE:

Brigadier General Qassam Soleimani

Brigadier General Qassam Soleimani

IRGC – Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

IRGC – Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

IRGC-Qods Force

IRGC-Qods Force

Hezbollah

Hezbollah

Iran has released new video and images of its long-range ballistic missile attack carried out in 2017 against ISIS positions. The video shows Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members praying and then counting down to launching numerous missiles.

The video is interesting because it shows the process, from the loading of the missiles on their launcher to the launch process and also the drone footage Iran took of the impacts. This missile attack was carried out from a distance of around 600 km, which showcases Iran’s ability to use long range ballistic missiles in precision attacks.

Iran carried out another attack using ballistic missiles against Kurdish dissidents in 2018 and then against US forces in Iraq in January 2020. The attack on US forces targeted bases where the forces are located and was in retaliation to the US killing of IRGC Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani.

Iran has long threatened Israel and has transferred missiles and missile technology to Hezbollah over the years. It has also reportedly transferred precision guided munitions to Hezbollah. US media reports indicate that Iran transferred ballistic missiles to Iraq in the fall of 2018 and the fall of 2019.

Iran’s new video shows that on June 19, 2017, IRGC members congregated at the launch sites, reported to be in Kermanshah province and a neighboring area. Rockets of the Zolfaghar type, with a range of some 700 km, were loaded and readied. This is believed to be built on the model of a Fateh 110 rocket and was unveiled in 2016.

It uses solid fuel. It is believed six were fired in 2017. Iran also says the Qiam 1 rocket was used. This is the same style used against the US in January 2020. First tested in 2010, it is based on a Shahab-style rocket with a range of 800 km. Heaver and longer than the Zolfaghar, it is a liquid fueled weapon. It has a 750 kg warhead compared to the Zolfaghar estimated 500-600 kg.

Why is Iran releasing new videos today? Partly because Iran wants to show US sanctions have not deterred its missile program. Even though these are old videos, the idea is to message Iran’s capabilities.

In the absence of new ballistic missile tests or use, the concept is to keep it “evergreen” by showing new photos. There is also likely a message for Israel. This is due to recent foreign posts on social media and reports that the US sanctions on Syria and other issues are stoking tensions. Iran has boasted in the past about long-range drones and missiles.

However, the attack on ISIS was a clear example of its capabilities. It fired missiles over Iraq, where US-led Coalition forces operate, and struck near Albukamal in Syria. Iran was thus willing to shoot ballistic missiles over a neighboring country, into a third country. It also coordinated with units on the ground using drones. This was not easy because it had to have those units and drones in place at the time of the strikes. The recent video shows the drone capturing footage.

Iran has transferred several types of its drones to Syria and Hezbollah over the years. In February 2018 an Iranian drone invaded Israeli airspace and was shot down. Iran used drones in 2018 when it fired missiles at Kurdish dissidents in Iraq. It is not known if it used drones when it struck at US bases, but clearly it is aiming for these multi-layered capabilities.

Very few countries have the level of technical ability Iran has, using long range precision missiles and drones. Iran says its latest missiles are accurate up to 10 meters. If this were true Iran would have developed a very complex and threatening missile program.

This has raised concerns in the US and elsewhere, especially as Iran appears to walk away from its commitments under the 2015 Iran Deal. Iran has also transferred its ballistic missile and drone technology to Saudi Arabia, carrying out numerous attacks between 2017 and 2019. The US has indicated that some of this technology is being moved on boats or small ships off the Gulf of Oman.

Source » jpost

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