IRGC Hybrid Attacks Aimed At Crushing Terrorists, Renewing Warnings to Israel
The Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted some positions of terrorist groups in Syria as well as the espionage headquarters of the Israeli regime’s Mossad in Iraq’s Kurdistan regime by firing a total of 24 ballistic missiles at 24:00 Tehran time on Tuesday (January 16). But what were the objectives of this extensive missile and drone attacks?
According to the statements made by General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force as well as the existing field information, these attacks were carried out against the command and espionage headquarters of the Mossad approximately 10 kilometers far from the Iraqi city of Erbil, and also against the hideouts and training centers of Takfiri groups associated with the ISIS Khorasan branch in the Kafr Takharim area in northern Idlib Governorate of Syria.
The attack on the Mossad headquarters in the Iraqi city of Erbil was carried out by firing 11 Fateh-110 and Fateh-313 missiles. Out of this number, four missiles were launched from western Iranian city of Kermanshah (Tange Kenesht military base) and seven other missiles were launched from the northwest Iranian city of Tabriz (Azarshahr missile site) to hit the targets. Additionally, according to the published videos regarding the Erbil attack, one or two suicide drones were also used, but the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has not hinted to the drone attacks in their four statements; therefore, details about the number and type of suicide drones used in this operation are not available. Nonetheless, it is highly likely that these drones are of the Shahed 131 or 136 types.
It is worth mentioning that during the attack on the Mossad headquarters in Erbil, four people, including Peshraw Dizayee, a leading figure of the traders close to the Israeli regime as well as Ahzi Amin, who was a former intelligence commander of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, were killed.
The attack on the terrorist groups in Syria was carried out by firing 13 missiles. Out of this number, four Khaybar-Shekan ballistic missiles were launched from the Darkhoveyn area in southern Khuzestan province, which is located in southwestern Iran. The ballistic missiles were fired towards Idlib Governorate in Syria to target the headquarters of terrorist groups in the Talteta area. Furthermore, nine other missiles were launched towards targets in Syria, but there is no information available about the type of missiles or the targets. However, General Hajizadeh announced in an interview that the terrorists’ positions in the east of the Euphrates River have also been targeted by missile attacks. It seems that based on field reports from the Idlib and Aleppo governorates as well as General Hajizadeh’s statements, some of these 9 missiles have hit the pre-planned targets in northern and eastern Syria.
What are the important points of these military operations?
The Islamic Republic of Iran utilized the tactic of “hybrid attack” during conducting of these strikes, which we had previously witnessed in the Aramco attack and over the course of the military operations carried out by the Russian army during the Ukraine war. This means that before the missile strike on Erbil, one or more drones were launched in a bid to engage the US C-RAM defense systems stationed at the Al-Harir air base, and then the ballistic missiles hit the Israeli regime’s headquarters. Additionally, with the firing of 24 missiles, these attacks have been the largest missile operation conducted by Iran up to date.
As stated in the statements of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, this operation was conducted in response to terrorist attacks in Kerman city and Sistan and Baluchestan province, as well as the assassinations of the IRGC commander Martyr Sayyed Razi Mousavi and senior leader of Hamas and founding commander of its military wing (the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades) Martyr Saleh al-Arouri by the Israeli regime. But more importantly, it displays Iran’s missile power and capabilities to the United States and the Israeli regime.
In this operation, the strategic ballistic missile Khaybar Shekan was launched against targets in the battlefield for the first time, which could accurately target objectives within a range of approximately 1260 kilometers (from Darkhoveyn in Khuzestan province to Talteta in northwestern Syria). As the name of this missile suggests, the experts of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps developed this ballistic missile with the aim of creating the capability to target the Israeli regime’s positions, and the operationalization of Khaybar Shekan in the battlefield serves as a serious and clear warning to the Israeli regime. Furthermore, this operation marks the first missile attack by Iranian forces with a range exceeding 1200 kilometers from inside Iran, and such a missile attack has not been carried out before.