Airstrikes Hit Iranian Targets in Syria

Airstrikes Hit Iranian Targets in Syria

Airstrikes Hit Iranian Targets in Syria

Airstrikes hit Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria, killing at least eight fighters and targeting weapons stores and shipments, according to monitoring groups, at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the region.

Airstrikes Hit Iranian Targets in Syria
Airstrikes Hit Iranian Targets in Syria

No one claimed responsibility for the strikes that hit close to the Iraqi border soon after midnight local time on Friday. Weapons warehouses and vehicles near the city of Alboukamal were targeted, the U.K.-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said early Friday.

Israel has previously carried out airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias and bases in Syria, in its attempts to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence there and stop it moving weapons to allied groups in the region.

The Israeli military declined to comment.

Iran, which has backed the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s civil war, has used its presence in Syria to cement a land route through Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where it supports proxy forces.

Friday’s strikes caused a massive explosion that could be heard along the border, according to DeirEzzor24, another monitoring group tracking news in eastern Syria.

The airstrikes in eastern Syria come as U.S. military bases, including in Baghdad’s Green Zone, have been frequent targets of rocket attacks from Iran-backed militias in Iraq, complicating matters for the Iraqi government as it tries to balance ties with both countries.

After nearly nine years of conflict in Syria, the Assad regime—backed by Iran and Russia—has emerged victorious and is reasserting control over much of the country. The U.S. is maintaining a presence in northeast Syria as it backs local allies in the continuing fight against Islamic State remnants.

Both the U.S. and Iran have largely avoided clashing with each other in Syria.

Confrontation between them has played out in Iraq in recent weeks, including Iranian strikes on a U.S. base at the end of December and the targeted U.S. killing of an Iranian general near Baghdad last week. Meanwhile, Tehran and Washington appear to have been preparing for possible spillover into Syria, where both governments have troops and proxy forces.

Over the past week, the Iranian-backed militias had evacuated some of their headquarters in Alboukamal, deploying their fighters into orchards and farms along the Euphrates River where they would be more hidden from aerial view, according to the observatory.

Read more at: WSJ

Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights

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