Drones attacked a company of Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces fighters Wednesday evening in Syria near the border with Iraq, Iraqi sources reported.
Sky News in Arabic cited an Iraqi security source sa saying that five people were killed in the attack, and nine more were wounded.
The attack targeted militias that were operating near the Syrian city of Al Bukamal, the source said.
Following the attack, the troops dispersed to avoid further assaults on them, the source added; they also moved ammunition to hidden places to make it more difficult to strike them from the air.
This is the second time this week that sites run by Shi'ite militias are attacked in this area. Overnight Monday, there were reports in Iraq of a strike on weapon storage facilities run by militias affiliated with Iran. Iraq's Afaq TV attributed the attack to Israel, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 10 Iran-backed fighters died.
Last week, twenty-one people were reportedly killed in an explosion at a weapons warehouse used by Iran-affiliated militias in Iraq's Anbar province. Iraqi military sources and reports in Arab media outlets didn't say who was responsible for it, but the incident was linked to recent attacks in the country, some attributed to Israel.
The explosion came a day after drones struck Iran-backed militias in eastern Syria, killing at least 18 militia fighters. A Syrian security official said Israeli jets staged the airstrikes, but denied there were any casualties.
- Airstrike targets Iran-backed militias near Iraq-Syria border, media reports say
- Iran-backed militia says it downed surveillance drone in Iraq
- Report: 21 Iraqi militia members killed in explosion in Iran-linked arms depot
Recently, Israel has been accused of carrying out a series of strikes in Iraq — some of them in the country's west, near the Syrian border. The strikes targeted Iran-backed, Shi'ite militias and its convoys that were smuggling weapons into the area. While Israel did not confirm it carried out the strikes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted on several occasions that he Israel will not hesitate to extend the borders of the fight against Iran.
The New York Times reported in August that the administration in Washington is not pleased with the Israeli attacks due to concerns that they would destabilize the Iraqi government and increase the resistance to the presence of American troops in the country.