4 killed in Syria-Iraq border strike

The deceased fighters were members of Iran-backed factions who died during air strikes conducted by jets of unknown origin in al-Bukamal region in east Deir Ez-Zor Governorate late Monday.

By Erin Viner

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed the incident yesterday, in what was the second attack in the area in as many days.

SOHR sources in west Euphrates identified one of the fatalities as a Syrian national but said the others remain unknown at this time.

According to the report, activists heard “violent explosions” in al-Bukamal in the east Deir Ez-Zor countryside “in areas under the control of Iranian-backed militias” that coincided with drone flights.

Iranian Arabic language television claimed that the United States military had carried out the strike, but offered no documentation to substantiate the allegation.

The latest violence comes in the wake of 4 other attacks by unidentified drones between 4 September and 8 October on “the Iranian “colony” in Syria documented by the United Kingdom-based SOHR, whose sources also “suggested” were launched by US drones but that “Washington didn’t claim responsibility of the attack as it didn’t want to engage in an open warfare with Iranian-backed militias in Syrian territory.”

3 Iranian-backed Iraqi militiamen were reportedly killed in the attacks during this time period, while 15 other fighters of various nationalities were injured, including some critically; and 6 targets were destroyed.

Detailing the alleged drone strikes, the SOHR said 3 militiamen were killed and others injured during a on 4 September attack on the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) near al-Bukamal, that also destroyed 3 trucks. Iranian-made surface-to-surface missile launchpads were destroyed on 27 September in the al-Mazare area of the al-MayadIn desert, which is home to “the largest gathering of Iranian-backed militias in the west Euphrates region,” wounding at least 12 pro-Iran non-Syrian fighters. Three days later, at least 2 missiles were fired at Iranian-backed militias in al-Katef area near al-Bukamal, as the fighters tried to down the UAV with heavy anti-aircraft machine guns. And on 8 October, fires were ignited at Iranian-backed militia military headquarters in al-Bukamal, while additional explosions were reported at Iranian-backed militia positions close to the Syria-Iraq border.