Unidentified Planes Hit Iranian Militias in Eastern Syria, Military Sources Say

Iranian-backed militia fighters were put on heightened alert and ambulances were seen rushing to the desert outskirts of Mayadeen after several explosions were heard, two locals say

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Airstrike in Damascus, Syria, January 2019
Airstrike in Damascus, Syria, January 2019 Credit: SANA / AP
Reuters
Reuters

Unidentified aircraft hit a base run by Iranian-backed militias in Syria's eastern province of Deir al Zor near the Iraqi border where Tehran has in the last year expanded its military presence, residents and military sources said on Monday.

They said the strikes were south of the town of Mayadeen along the Euphrates River which has become a major base for several Shi'ite militias, mostly from Iraq, since Islamic State militants were driven out nearly four years ago.

Iranian-backed militia fighters patrolling the streets were put on heightened alert and ambulances were seen rushing to the desert outskirts of the city after several explosions were heard, two residents said.

"Panicky militias were calling on pedestrians and cars to clear the city center and main streets around it," Ahmad al Shawi, a resident told Reuters in a text message.

The militias now control the mainly Sunni tribal town, part of a growing presence across Deir al Zor province, residents and military sources say.

The air attacks were not immediately reported on Syrian state media, which has previously denied that thousands of Iranian-backed militia fighters are deployed across large parts of the country.

Israel, alarmed by Iran's growing regional influence and military presence in Syria, says it has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria to slow down Iranian entrenchment.

Over the past year, strikes by unmanned Israeli aircraft have concentrated on the border town of Albu Kamal, south east of Mayadeen, that lies on a strategic supply route for Iranian-backed militias who regularly send reinforcements from Iraq into Syria.

The Iranian-backed militias are also in control of large stretches of the frontier on the Iraqi side.

Western intelligence sources say Israel has expanded air strikes on suspected arms transfers and deployments by Iranian backed militia and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies which support Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism