Satellite images released on Monday show the destruction of what is believed to be recently built Iran-backed storehouses during an overnight strike that reportedly killed 18 militia members in eastern Syria.
The Israeli army said earlier that Shi'ite units led by Tehran's Quds Force attempted to fire several rockets Sunday night which failed to cross over to Israel.
Outlets affiliated with the Syrian opposition, which based their reports on those of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights', said the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) attacked militias near Al Bukamal, close to the Syria-Iraq border.
>> How Israel, Hezbollah and Iran almost went to war this week | Analysis ■ Lebanon pays the price for a burden called Hezbollah | Analysis
Images from Israeli firm Image Sat International (ISI) show the complete destruction of all eight storehouses after two were attacked. ISI assesses that the strike is part of an attempt to prevent Tehran from establishing a land corridor to allies in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Haaretz reported early last week that the Al-Quds forces were building a new base, dubbed Imam Ali, on the Syria-Iraq border. The base is located 150 kilometers Southeast of Deir ez-Zur, near the Albukamal-Qaim crossing, a major supply route across the Middle East.
Images from ISI released last week show five newly constructed buildings, surrounded by large dirt mounds, which analysts say could house precision-guided missiles, as well as storehouses, security posts and revetments.
- Israel: Shi'ite force fired rockets from Syria; 'Strike on Syria-Iraq border kills 18 Iran-backed militiamen'
- Israel almost dragged into war with Hezbollah due to operational failure
- Tanks and tourists on the Israel-Lebanon border: The epicenter of the war that wasn't
A series of recent strikes in Iraq have been attributed to Israel, some taking place near the Syrian border. The attacks were aimed at Shi’ite militias affiliated with Iran, aimed at foiling attempts to smuggle weapons into Syria.
Israel has not accepted responsibility for such strikes however, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has alluded to several of the strikes. Sources in the U.S. government have expressed concern over the attacks, saying they would undermine the Iraqi government’s stability and increase pressure to extradite American troops stationed there.