Beirut (Associated Press)-Israeli warplanes carried out violent air strikes in eastern Syria early on Wednesday morning, apparently targeting Iranian support forces’ positions and arsenals. An opposition war monitor said dozens of fighters were killed or injured.
A senior U.S. intelligence official with knowledge of the attack told the Associated Press that the airstrike was carried out with intelligence provided by the United States. This is a rare incident of open cooperation between the two countries in selecting targets in Syria. The official said that the target of the strike is a series of warehouses in Syria, which are being used in pipelines to transport and store Iranian weapons.
The US official, who requested anonymity, said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Mike Pompeo) met with the Israeli spy agency Mossad at a public meeting in Israel’s popular Café Milano on Monday. The head of Yossi Cohen (Yossi Cohen) discussed Tuesday̵
The official said that these warehouses also served as pipelines for components that support Iran’s nuclear program.
The Syrian state news agency SANA said the strike hit the towns of Deir el-Zour, Mayadeen and Boukamal, which border Iraq, and their surrounding areas. Quoting an officer who asked not to be named, Syria’s air defense system responded to the incoming missiles. It did not provide more details.
An opposition war monitor reported that there have been at least 18 attacks on Deir ez-Zor and the border with Iraq, stating that several weapons depots have been attacked. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in the United Kingdom said that 23 people were killed, including 7 Syrians, and the rest were fighters supported by Iran. It said 28 people were injured.
Omar Abu Laila, a European militant from the Deir ez-Zor province in eastern Syria, said: “They burned down the Iranian positions in Dir ez-Zor.” The group’s activists reported in the border area. . He recorded at least 16 targeted buildings, warehouses or bases against Iranian, Lebanese, and Iraqi militias in the towns of Bukamar, Mayaden and Deir Ezor.
Over the years, Israel has launched hundreds of strikes against Iran-related military targets in Syria, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such actions.
The observatory said it recorded 39 Israeli strikes in Syria in 2020, attacking 135 targets, including military posts, warehouses or vehicles. According to the Observatory, at least 217 people were killed in these attacks, most of them allied Iranian militias.
The strike took place during the last days of President Donald Trump’s administration as tensions in the region increased.
Many people worry that the United States’ retaliation for the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani last year may take place before Trump resigns, otherwise conflicts may break out and Joe Biden will take office. The government of Iran will negotiate with Iran.
Israel regards Iran’s adherence to the northern border as a red line, and has repeatedly attacked facilities and weapons convoys of radical Hezbollah organizations in Lebanon that have links with Iran.
At the time of the strike, the increasing number of Israeli low-altitude fighter missions in the Lebanese skies disturbed residents and prompted Lebanon to file an urgent complaint with the United Nations for violating its airspace. Israeli officials stated that the overflight was necessary because Hezbollah violated the 2006 UN resolution, which prohibited it from strengthening its military capabilities and operating near the Israeli border.
Associated Press writer James LaPorta (James LaPorta) in Delray Beach, Florida, provided reporting.