Airstrikes hit eastern Syria, kill 18 pro-Iran fighters

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Airstrikes hit positions of pro-Iranian forces and allied militias in eastern Syria overnight, killing 18 fighters, a war monitor said Monday.

It was not clear who carried out the raids in the region of Albu Kamal near the border with Iraq, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based Observatory, which has a vast network of contacts across Syria, said “18 fighters were killed, but their nationalities have not yet been determined.”

“Warplanes whose identity is not known so far targeted vehicles and positions of the Iranian forces and militias loyal to them,” the Observatory said.

The blasts targeted a base belonging to the Popular Mobilization Force, according to the Saudi Al Arabiya network, citing sources in the area.

Al Arabiya said the base, in the al-Boukamal area, also housed forces from the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group.

Since mid-July, five arms depots and training camps belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces have been targeted in apparent attacks.

The PMF has blamed both Israel and the US for the recent string of blasts and drone sightings at its bases. There was no immediate comment from Israel.

The fresh blasts occurred on the Syrian side of the border in the same regions where Iran is constructing a new military facility that can house thousands of soldiers and storage facilities for advanced weapons.

It was not immediately clear if this was the same base.

Quoting Western intelligence sources, the US cable network said the base is located near the Syria-Iraq border, and its construction is being overseen by the Quds Force, the overseas branch of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Satellite photos of the base, known as the Imam Ali compound, showed what appeared to be five recently constructed buildings that can store precision-guided missiles, according to ImageSat International.

ImageSat, an Israeli satellite imagery analysis firm, said the photos also show other structures at the facility that could be used for storing missiles.

 

Zainab Sa’id