Iran's Khamenei ordered missile strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria: Guards

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Sunday's missile strike came amid recent confrontations in Syria between USA -backed forces and pro-government factions.

The United States has said its recent actions against Syrian government forces and allied militia have been self-defensive in nature, aimed at stopping attacks on USA -led coalition forces or their local allies.

"This revolutionary action and punishment is absolutely clear".

Like Obama, Trump has focused on Islamic State, leaving for later the question of Assad's fate and the region's mangled alliances.

A statement from Australia's Defense Ministry said it would monitor the "air situation in Syria" and make a decision on resuming airstrikes there "in due course".

Australia on Tuesday suspended its airstrikes against IS targets in Syria as a precaution, after Russian Federation announced it was suspending the hotline and warned the US -led coalition not to fly over Syrian army positions west of the Euphrates River.

The Pentagon said Sunday a Syrian SU-22 dropped bombs on coalition-partnered fighters near the town of Tabqah.

Asked Tuesday whether the hotline was no longer being used, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said he could not discuss the matter beyond saying the USA stands ready to use the line. There is no word on the pilot's fate or any other casualties.

The IRGC said that the firings at the weekend were Iran's retaliation for the attacks that took place in the country's capital. The official says the drone was a Shaheed 129 and appeared to have been operated by "pro-regime" forces.

Still, the Pentagon said it had not seen hostile action by Moscow.

Trump officials are keeping their strategy discussions out of public view, but the increased USA presence is Syria should be viewed as a sign of the administration's willingness to confront Iran, according to the source.

Asked Tuesday whether the hotline was no longer being used, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said he could not discuss the matter beyond saying the US stands ready to use the hotline.

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.

Netanyahu often warns that Iran presents a threat to Israel and world stability.

"The Russian Federation has indicated that their objective in Syria, like ours, is to defeat ISIS", Dunford told reporters.

While the US insisted it wasn't targeting Syrian positions, it also pointed out that the rules of engagement allow the military to provide for the "collective self-defense" of its allies.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a radical paramilitary wing, claimed it conducted the strikes in response to ISIS's attack in Tehran earlier this month.

Iran said its ballistic missile strike targeting ISIS in Syria also served as a warning to archrival Saudi Arabia and the United States, with a former Revolutionary Guard chief writing on Twitter that "The bigger slap is yet to come".

Iran's recent strike on the Islamic State was also a signal to the USA that the country's missile program will not be deterred by sanctions, according to Iranian parliamentarians.

Walla news corroborated Yaari's report, quoting unnamed "diplomatic sources" as saying that only one or two of the seven Iranian missiles hit their target.

Announcing the attack, the Guards insisted "many terrorists" were killed and their weapons were destroyed within the strike.

A spokesman for the Guards declared earlier Monday that the missiles it fired into Syria successfully hit Islamic State group targets. One missile managed to strike within a few hundred meters of its target, but still missed. "Proportionate to what they may do, a crushing response has been planned for them, and will be delivered", Tasnim News Agency reported on Wednesday.

"Those elements are there certainly, as we know", he said, without elaborating on the groups he was referring to.

Gen. Dunford also expressed confidence that USA pilots could take care of themselves.

A U.S. airstrike in Syria has downed a government warplane, the Syrian army has announced in a statement on Facebook.

Iran has been aiding the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and is a key ally to the Syrian forces alongside Russian Federation and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement.

Iran, the sheikh said, "will not allow terrorism to determine the future of the region".

The Syrian army has also taken territory from retreating Islamic State militants in the western Raqqa countryside and seized back some oil fields and villages that had been under the militants' control for nearly three years.

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