11:57 GMT09 May 2021
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    Iran says Monday’s missile attack launched in Syria killed 40 Daesh* leaders. Seven drones and six ballistic missiles were used during the strike in the Abu Kamal region of eastern Syria, according to state media. Tehran conducted the strike on terrorists who it says were responsible for a recent terrorist attack in the Iranian city of Ahvaz.

    Sputnik has discussed Iran’s missile attack in Syria with Foad Izadi, professor of political communication at the University of Tehran.

    Sputnik: In your opinion how successful was Tehran in this show of force in Syria?

    Foad Izadi: I think the long-term success basically depends whether this was effective enough to make sure that these terrorist organizations would not engage in terrorism in Iran in the future. Iran is a relatively safe country. We had this terrorist attack in Ahvaz, a couple of years ago there was a terrorist attack in Tehran and then in Tehran that attack two years ago was the first attack in 30 years. So in the last two years we've had two terrorist attacks in Tehran which is actually a better situation when we compare to what was happening in Paris and London and some other European capitals. So Iran is relatively safe from these types of attacks and the people in Iran are not used to terrorism basically. And the government’s aim by these missile launches is to make sure that enough pain is delivered to the terrorist organizations so they don’t engage in this type of activity.

    Based on what the Iranian government has announced and based on what the US has announced it seems that the missiles have found their target. The US military announced yesterday that the missiles had landed five kilometers away from US forces in Syria which basically is a sign that the missiles reached their destination. The question you may have is that how come ISIS [Daesh] and the US forces are so close to each other and apparently they’re not engaging in any type of confrontation, they are living as peaceful neighbors? That’s an interesting question, but the terrorist organizations when attacked in Syria seem to have gotten the message that the Iranian government wanted to deliver to them. And I’m not sure if this is the end of it. Iran may actually use other instruments to make sure that terrorism doesn't happen in Iran again.

    READ MORE: WATCH Daesh Terrorists Leave Behind Weapons… and Beards in Southern Syria

    Sputnik: I was just going to ask if you think this is a one time strike or, perhaps, it could actually lead up to maybe a full-scale anti-terrorist operation by Iran, could this happen?

    Foad Izadi: Iran has been fighting ISIS for the last number of years. In fact, it was because of Iran's help that Iraq and Syria managed to survive. ISIS was about 40 km from Baghdad when they first came into Iraq and it was with Iranian help that the Iraqi government was basically able to clean Iraq of ISIS and there are no major ISIS forces in Iraq anymore. The same thing in Syria. Syria is not totally free from terrorist organizations but Iran's helped, obviously, the Russian government helped in Syria. So this fight has been going on for sometime and as long as we have ISIS this struggle against ISIS will continue. So the smartest conclusion would be that this is not the end of it. Iran’s efforts to target ISIS forces will continue and hopefully the result of this campaign is that we don’t have terrorism in Iran and then hopefully we don’t have terrorism in the Middle East in general.

    Sputnik: How does the fact that these strikes were aimed at one of the very last Daesh strongholds in Syria, what does it tell us about those responsible for the Ahvaz attack?

    Foad Izadi: When the Ahvaz attack happened ISIS took responsibility. They announced that it was their operation. We have a local terrorist organization that also took credit, but based on what Iranian intelligence services know and have announced is that there are linkages between the two, and both organizations are getting support from the US and US allies; especially, the local terrorist organization that has been in contact and has received money and training from the Americans, the Israelis and the Saudis.

    If we believe President Trump, when he was running for presidency he announced that President Obama created ISIS and we don’t know if that is true or not that President Obama created ISIS. But what we can say with certainty is that US policy in Syria contributed to the growth of ISIS and also contributed to beginning of the central government in Syria that resulted in the country falling into civil war. So the end result I think is that we have a situation where Iran with the help of associates and allies will continue fighting these organizations, and unfortunately terrorist organizations also are receiving money from intelligence services of local government and also the United States.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    Daesh, Ahvaz, Syria, US
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