Written by Staff Writer 18th March 2021
On Thursday, March 18, 2021, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a press conference to provide information on two IRGC ballistic missile sites in Western Iran that have been used for attacks against neighboring countries.
Ambassador Giulio Terzi, Foreign Minister of Italy (2011-2013) and Dr. Walid Phares, Co-Secretary General of the Transatlantic Parliamentary Group on Counterterrorism, an adviser to Anti-Terrorism Caucasus in the US House of Representatives, and a Middle East expert were among the participants in this briefing.
Ali Safavi from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NCRI provided the following information:
Details of two Revolutionary Guards ballistic missile sites in western Iran
The Iranian regime’s ballistic missile program, one of the mullahs’ strategic military levers, has become one of the main concerns of the international community in recent years.
The Aerospace Force of the Revolutionary Guards is one of the five forces of the IRGC. With the rise of the role of missile program in the mullahs’ military apparatus, the regime transformed the IRGC Air Force into the IRGC Aerospace Force in October 2009.
Today, I will reveal the details of two of the most important sites of IRGC ballistic missiles in western Iran. The information has been provided by the network of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
These two sites are:
- Missile site in Konesht Canyon located northeast of Kermanshah in western Iran. Previously, this site was home to the 9th Badr Brigade (Iraqi proxies of the IRGC).
- Panj Pelleh missile site located Kermanshah.
The IRGC missile command in western Iran is located at the Panj Pelleh missile site, which is one of the IRGC’s oldest and most important missile centers.
As you are aware, after Qassem Soleimani was killed in Iraq on January 3, 2020, Khamenei ordered the IRGC to launch a missile attack on the Ain al-Assad base in Anbar province in western Iraq on January 8, 2020. The regime never stated exactly from where the missile strikes were launched.
According to information received from MEK sources inside Iran, specifically from within the regime, including the Revolutionary Guards, the attacks were carried out from these two missile sites. Based on information received recently, these two sites, which are in each other’s proximity, about two to three km apart from another on two sides of a mountain, are connected by underground tunnels.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC Aerospace Corps, had personally taken command of the operation and was stationed at the missile site in Panj Pelleh. According to this information, less than half an hour after the shooting down by the IRGC of the Ukrainian plane Flight 752, on the night of January 8, Hajizadeh quickly returned to Kermanshah airport and flew back to Tehran.
Missile site in Konesht Canyon in Kermanshah
The location, being close to the western borders of the country, provides a strategic spot for housing and launching the missiles towards potential targets. It is also perfectly suitable for harboring the mobile missile launch platforms and transferring them to desired locations closer to the border.
This site was built many years ago by the engineering firms affiliated to Khatam al-Anbia base and is used by the Revolutionary Guards and specifically its missile arm. It is considered as maintaining and launching missiles in Iran. Some of these changes and expansions have been in 2020.
Due to the importance of this site, the IRGC encloses a large area around this site and prevents residents from entering that area. In order to maintain information and movements on this site, the soldiers guarding the outer area of this site are replaced every two months.
Geographical coordinates of the Strait missile site
The Konesht Canyon Missile Site is located in the north of the City of Kermanshah, the capital of the Kermanshah province, at the western border of Iran. The area is surrounded by highlands in the north and east and therefore the site is well-hidden between the mountains. The spot is flanked by a semi-highland area and scattered residential zones on the eastside. Two towns with an almost completely military population find themselves in the south, named Takawar (Farsi for Ranger) and Zafar (Farsi for Victory). The Kermanshah Airport is located 10 km to the south, and it is closer to the missile launch facility.
Various types of IRGC ballistic missiles, namely the Shahab 2 and Shahab 3 families, and the Zulfiqar missile are housed on this site.
The exclusive guarded gate of this site is placed on its south, which leads to the northern parts of the towns Zafar and Takawar.
The site includes no less than 5 bases and several sheds, well-dispersed from each other. At least 5 hatches are understood to be distanced from the tunnels which are very similar to the IRGC missile shelters and launch pads like in the video clips broadcasted by the state’s media. There are two entries for the tunnel and they appear to serve for inserting the missiles into the underground facilities for storage and keeping them ready for launch through the launch pads.
One of the bases is located 4 km to the north of the site, and since early 2020, the regime has created two new tunnels in this place. (see satellite imageries)
The only entrance to the site is located in the western part of it, which is north of Zafar and Takawar towns.
Panj Pelleh missile site located in the east of Kermanshah
This site is one of the IRGC’s underground missile centers, which has extensive tunnels and facilities in Zirkuh. This site has been created in an area with an area of approximately 2 by 3 kms.
This site is located in a mountainous area north of the highway to Kermanshah airport.
This site is located at km 5 of Kermanshah highway to Hamedan in the north of the road and inside the mountainous region. Boroujerdi IRGC garrison is located on the south side of the road in front of this site. The regular army’s aviation base is also located near this place.
In the map and aerial photo, the location of this place, as well as the entrance of the tunnels under the mountain in the north of the site, can be seen.