The Syrian government has not issued a statement although an opposition-linked war monitoring organization said the attack occurred at dawn on Wednesday.
By Erin Viner
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that “an air bombardment” by an unidentified armed drone “destroyed the arms and ammunition warehouses…. belonging to Iranian factions in al-Bukamal city at the Iraqi-Syrian borders in east Deir Ez-Zor.”
“At least 7 Iran-backed militiamen were killed,” including 3 Syrians “who work under Iranian factions,” said a statement published on the SOHR website.
SOHR activists in the west Euphrates region reported “loud explosions in the early hours of Wednesday,” followed by deployment of trucks into the area. came to the area on November 7 and also hours after Wednesday’s attack.
The Al-Bukamal area is known as a major military staging point for Iran, used for the shipments of weapons and fighters from the Islamic Republic across the Iraqi border into Syria, and allegedly come under frequent Israeli Air Force (IAF) fire in the past.
The SOHR report, however, noted that the most recent attack could have been carried out by either Israel or the International Coalition headed by the United States.
It an unusual development, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has so far not issued any comment on the incident. The Syrian government is generally quick to blame Israel for any suspected strikes on Iran-affiliated targets on its soil.
Damascus accused Jerusalem of a series of strikes on the this past Monday, which the state-run SANA news agency said injured 2 Syrian soldiers and caused “material losses.” Local media said the targets included arms depots at the Shayrat Airport near Homs and just south of the coastal city of Tartus.
Senior Russian military official Vadim Kulit stated that 6 Israeli F-15s fighter jets fired 8 missiles in the Monday attack. Kulik, who is one of the Kremlin’s leading representatives to its ally Damascus, claimed that the Syrian military deployed Russian-made air defenses to down 6 of the Israeli projectiles.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit neither confirmed nor denied involvement in the latest strikes in response to TV7’s request for comment.
While the Israeli military rarely confirms specific operations, political and defense leaders have acknowledged a campaign against Iran’s attempt to establish a permanent foothold in Syria; including the prevention of arms shipments from the Islamic Republic to its proxy, the Hezbollah terror group, based in Lebanon.
The 8 November strike was the 3rd Syria accused Israel of carrying out in less than 2 weeks, and at least the 6th over the past month.