Deadly strike on Syria-Iraq border

An unidentified drone on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq launched the overnight strike.

By Erin Viner

At least two fuel trucks were destroyed in the attack that Iraqi security and border officials said targeted a tanker truck convoy transporting Iranian fuel that had passed through the Qaim border crossing into Syria.

The convoy, said to include over 20 tankers, crossed into Syria after obtaining “all necessary legal approvals from Iraq” and according to the transportation documents the Iranian fuel was heading to Lebanon through Syria, said two border police officials.

While no Iraqi or Iranian casualties were reported, a regional official aligned with the Islamic Republic said two Syrian nationals were killed. Paramilitary groups operating in the area, however, said that least 10 people died.

An enormous blaze was seen on the Syrian side of the border, said a security official.

The United States military today denied involvement in the attack, which came just one day after an American was shot to death in Baghdad. Stephen Edward Troell, 45, was killed by unknown gunmen as he drove to his family’s home in the Karrada District of the Iraqi capital. The US Embassy in Baghdad said it is closely monitoring an investigation into the incident by Iraqi authorities, but declined to comment further.

The Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen television channel blamed Israel for the convoy strike.

Israel has acknowledged mounting hundreds of attacks on Iranian-linked targets in Syria where the Islamic Republic’s forces and proxy terror groups including Lebanon’s Hezbollah have become entrenched in deployments aimed at attacking Israel while assisting President Bashar al-Assad battle insurgents in the Syrian Civil War which erupted in 2011.

While the Jewish State rarely confirms such missions, the country’s political and defense leaders have repeatedly stated that Iran’s presence just over the northern frontier will not be tolerated.