June 21, 2017

Iran fires Zulfiqar ballistic missiles at targets in Syria - Region Nervous

COMMENT

The US, Israel, Gulf States and Saudi Arabia are very nervous about Iran firing Zulfiqar ballistic missiles (see photo below) at Islamic State targets in Syria. The Zulfiqars have the range, from Iran, to hit some Saudi cities and oil installations and US bases in the region.

ARTICLES

1.  Interesting article from Tyler Rogoway, The Drive/THE WARZONE, June 20, 2017: [The 19th June 2017s] barrage of [Iranian] ballistic missiles on Islamic State affiliated targets in Deir ez-Zor Syria has reverberated throughout the region and the world. 

As we stated shortly after the strike, Tehran's unprecedented use of ballistic missiles was based on multiple factors, and sending a message to the US, Arab gulf states and Israel was clearly one of them. Now Iran is saying more ballistic strikes could come at any time.

Iran used some of its most modern missiles in the operation. Six solid-fuel Zulfiqar short-range ballistic missiles were fired at Syria. Accounts vary, but some sources state the attack failed in a tactical sense, with only one missile hitting its intended target. Iran claims 360 militants died in the strikes, while Israeli sources say three of the missiles didn't even make it to Syria at all...."

2.  Behnam Ben Taleblu, for The Military Edge, September 2016, provided some details on the Zulfiqar "Iran’s newest Zulfiqar is a solid-fueled short range ballistic missile (SRBM) that reportedly can reach 700 to 750 kilometers and is claimed to be accurate within 5 to 10 meters

The Zulfiqar is Iran’s latest variant of the Fateh-110 missile series — a family of single-stage solid-fueled SRBMs that Tehran has refined since the 1990s. First successfully flight-tested in 2002, the Iranians have upgraded the Fateh-110 platform at least half a dozen times since. All of them were built by Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) – an affiliate of Iran’s Ministry of Defense..." 

(Probably) A Zulfiqar short range ballistic missile (SRBM) about to be launched from its transporter trailor. (Photo courtesy BBC Persian news).
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Pete 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Saudi Arabia's coastguard killed Iranian fisherman [1]. Iran is furious.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/saudi-border-guards-kill-iranian-fisherman-170617184851840.html
Saudi coastguard officers have opened fire on Iranian fishing boats in the Gulf, killing a fisherman, according to Iranian media, amid high tensions between the two rival states.

"Two Iranian boats that were fishing in the waters of the Persian Gulf were pushed off their course by waves. There was shooting by Saudi border guards ... and one Iranian fisherman was killed," the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted an interior ministry official as saying about Friday night's incident.

Regards

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous

Thanks for reporting that.

And in the proxy war in Yemen the body-count is even worse https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Saudi_Arabia_proxy_conflict

Also there happens to be a "Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force"
which is the fifth branch of the Royal Saudi Armed Forces, responsible for commissioning long-range strategic missiles.
Both Pakistan and China are involved supplying missiles, providing instruction and probably storing warheads.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Saudi_Strategic_Missile_Force and

Submarine Matters first article ever "Saudi Ballistic Missiles..." - in 2007 - http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2007/

Mysterious why there has not been any Western outcry about this potential or actual Saudi WMD force?

Regards

Pete

Josh said...

The US has always tolerated a conventional KSA ballistic missile capability. The current capability apparently involves DF-21. As far as is known, these are strictly conventional BMs with no NBC warheads.

As to people largely being silent on the Iranian attack, the general rule seems to be that any thing you do to ISIS is ok, and I don't think anyone wanted to begrudge Iran a revenge attack for the Tehran incident. Attacking the shrine and parliament would have been the equivalent of attacking Congress and the Washington monument in the US; it was reasonable for the Iranians to strike back, even if it was in a relatively ineffective way.

Cheers,
Josh

Ztev Konrad said...

The firepower all around seems to be moving up quite a notch in Syria as the story about 'magical mortars' appearing with Kurdish rebels forces. It seems to be a recoil based automated 81mm mortars that can be fired from the bed of a 4wd.
https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htart/articles/20170618.aspx

As for the Iranian ballistic missiles, I wonder if the US spate of shooting down of Iranian drones in Syria is related to them being used as targeting systems?

Anonymous said...

Long term what is the solution for all these failed states that are breeding grounds for really bad guys?

Talk about the Philippines armed forces failing to recapture the provincial town they lost for several weeks now. And there are tens of millions of poor people living in slumps in that country as well.
KQN

Kumar said...

Hi Pete
While Iran firing Zulfiqar missiles may be a cause of concern, Israel surely has the means to counter the missiles. This is the only country which can be expected to spring surprises when no one expects it. IT is a question of the survival of the Jewish State and the Israelis will go to any extent to secure themselves.
Regards
Kumar