Abadi visits Tehran, says Iraq and Iran more serious in fighting terror

Iranian state-controlled television quoted IRGC spokesman Ramazan Sharif as making the comments on June 19, after Iran’s elite force said it had fired missiles targeting the extremist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria following deadly attacks in Tehran earlier this month.The launch, which hit Syria’s eastern city of Deir el-Zour on Sunday night, appeared to be Iran’s first missile attack overseas in over 15 years and its first in the Syrian civil war, in which it has provided crucial support to embattled President Bashar Assad. Another semi-official news agency, Tasnim, stated that there were six Zulfiqars launched at Deir ez-Zor.A U.S. F-18 jet shot down a Syrian bomber on Sunday to protect US allies fighting Islamic State, and on Monday Russia and Iran threatened to target USA planes in response.The US military said it had shot down an armed, Iranian-made drone that had been bearing down on its forces near a garrison in Syria’s south-east on Tuesday, in the latest sign of increasingly frequent confrontation with Damascus and its allies.Experts say Zulfiqar missile is accurate to within 50 to 70 meters and has a range of between 434 to 466 miles. And on Monday, a US fighter jet shot down a pro-Syrian regime drone in southeastern Syria. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.Two top Revolutionary Guard commanders said that the strikes were meant to send a message to the perpetrators of militant attacks in Tehran last week – claimed by Islamic State – that killed 18 people, as well as their supporters.US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the $110 billion (100 billion euro) deal was aimed at helping the kingdom deal with “malign Iranian influence”. It is still unclear what the missiles struck, and Iran has provided few details.Both the Iranian strikes and the US’s downing of the Syrian plane, followed by its tensions with Russian Federation, come as various players in the region jostle and scramble for position to take over territory in the post-ISIS era.The U.S. action also comes two days after a U.S. warplane shot down a Syrian plane that was attacking U.S. -backed forces near Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital. Iraqi lawmaker Abdul-Bari Zebari said his country agreed to the missile overflight after coordination with Iran, Russia and Syria.Israel’s military Chief of Staff is disputing Iranian claims of successfully launching missiles at militants in Syria.The missile attack was the first by Iran outside its own territory in 30 years, since the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, media in the Islamic republic has reported. Iran’s firing of rockets over sovereign borders, instead of relying on military assets it already has inside Syria, also raised questions about its motivations – whether it was trying to send a message about its capabilities and boldness to the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia as well as to ISIS.