The Iranian military is building a new military base in Syria, Fox News reported on Tuesday, citing multiple Western intelligence sources.
The report said that the new Iranian compound, dubbed Imam Ali and situated on the Syria-Iraq border, is being built from scratch by the Al-Quds forces and its construction was approved by top Tehran leaders.
Haaretz Weekly Episode 38
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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 Israeli firm Image Sat International (ISI) 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.
ISI analysts believe the base's construction could be completed over the next few months and would be operational shortly thereafter.
Israel says it has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria, some of them against Iranian targets, to prevent Tehran from establishing a permanent military presence there and to stop advanced weapons reaching its proxies in the area, particularly Lebanon's Hezbollah.
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Israeli officials suggested recently that they view Iraq, whose main ally is Iran, as more of a threat than in recent years
In past weeks, a series of blasts hit weapon depots and bases belonging to Iranian-backed paramilitary groups in Iraq. Israel has maintained a policy of not claiming responsibility for these strikes. However, U.S. officials confirmed that Israel was responsible for a July 19 attack north of Baghdad on a base said to be used by Iran's Revolutionary Guards "to transfer weapons to Syria."