Iran has transferred short-range ballistic missiles and missile launchers to Shi’ite proxies in Iraq over the last few months and is helping those groups to start making their own, Iranian, Iraqi and Western sources said, REUTERS reports.
The Zelzal, Fateh-110 and Zolfaqar missiles have ranges of 200-700 km., putting Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh or the Israeli city of Tel Aviv within striking distance if the weapons were deployed in southern or western Iraq. The Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, has bases in both those areas. Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani is overseeing the program.
“It seems Iran has been turning Iraq into its forward missile base,” a Western source said.
Sources said the factories being used to develop missiles in Iraq were in al-Zafaraniya, east of Baghdad, and Jurf al-Sakhar, north of Kerbala, in areas controlled by Shi’ite militias.