Covered yesterday: US Airstrikes Hit SAA Allies, Again: US Backed Kurds Move on Raqqa
Followed up with: Lavrov:Deconfliction zones in Syria announced without Damascus’ consent illegitimate
(Read all information at Soufan page)
The Trump administration has characterized Iran as a major threat to U.S. national security, nearly on par with that of North Korea.
• President Trump has equated the terrorism threat from Iran with that of Sunni Muslim-dominated groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
• During his recent trip overseas, President Trump made clear that the U.S. was aligned with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states in their major rivalry with Iran, which has fueled regional sectarian violence for years.
• Senior U.S. officials did not congratulate Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani for his May 19 re-election, and President Trump instead expressed some support for regime change
Some support for regime change.... ISIS can assist with that.
Talking Points Memo
"Gunmen and suicide bombers attacked Iran’s parliament and the shrine of its revolutionary leader on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people, wounding dozens and igniting an hours-long siege at the legislature that ended with four attackers dead.The Islamic State group claimed the attacks, marking the first time the Sunni extremists have taken responsibility for an assault in Shiite-majority Iran. The militants are at war with Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq, and view Shiites as apostates.
The attacks began midmorning when assailants armed with Kalashnikov rifles stormed the parliament building. One of the attackers later blew himself up inside, where a session had been in progress, according to a statement carried by Iran’s state TV.
|child being lowered to safety- Iranian Police on guard|
Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari told Iran’s state TV the apparently male attackers wore women’s attire. The semi-official Tasnim news agency later reported the siege had ended with four of the attackers killed"
An Associated Press reporter saw several police snipers on the rooftops of buildings around the parliament. Shops in the area were shuttered, and gunfire could be heard. Witnesses said the attackers were shooting from the fourth floor of the parliament building down at people in the streets below.
“I was passing by one of the streets. I thought that children were playing with fireworks, but I realized people are hiding and lying down on the streets,” Ebrahim Ghanimi, who was around the parliament building when the assailants stormed in, told The Associated Press. “With the help of a taxi driver, I reached a nearby alley.”
Police helicopters circled over the parliament building and all mobile phone lines from inside were disconnected. The semi-official ISNA news agency said all entrance and exit gates at parliament were closed and that lawmakers and reporters were ordered to remain in place inside the chamber during the siege.
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called the attack a cowardly act.
“Iran is an active and effective pillar in the fight against terrorists and they want to damage it,” he said.
Soon after the parliament attack, a suicide bomber and other assailants targeted the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini located just outside the capital, Tehran, according to Iran’s official state broadcaster. It said a security guard was killed and that one of the attackers was killed by security guards. A woman was also arrested.
|A video framegrab from Islamic State-affiliated Amaq News Agency purports to show a gunman inside Iranian parliament in Tehran.|
The attackers spoke Arabic- Not Farsi
A voice on the video praises God and says in Arabic: “Do you think we will leave? We will remain, God willing.” Another voice repeats the same words. The two appeared to be parroting a slogan used by IS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, who was killed in Syria last year.Images via globe and mail
|body on ground outside Khomeni shrine|