Most violent airstrikes so far: unidentified aircraft target Iran military sites in Deir ez-Zor

Fighter jet preparing to kick off from a US-led coalition air base.

Fighter jet preparing to kick off from a US-led coalition air base.

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Military aircraft, presumably affiliated with the Israeli Air Force, raided several posts of Iranian militias and regime forces across Deir ez-Zor province.

A series of raids targeted military warehouses and sites of Iran-backed militias in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor, several sources, including civilians, reported on 13 January.

The raids took a toll on Iranian militants, rendering several dead, a resident based near the targeted sites told Enab Baladi.

Five militants died in the airstrikes in al-Bukamal, according to initial information obtained from the attacked site, stated al-Ilam al-Mukawem, which covers Iranian militias’ activities.

At least 50 riads targeted the Imam Ali military base, al-Hizam, the areas around the al-Qa’im border crossing, al-Hassyan, al-Sina’a, desert areas in al- Dweir and al-Bukamal, reported local news networks, including Media alMashrek.

Other six raids hit farm areas south of al-Mayadin, Tharda Mountain, southwest Muhasan town, al-Quriyah desert area, near Ain Ali, and the areas southwest Deir ez-Zor Airport.

The said airstrikes targeted the warehouses in Ayyash and Tallat al-Hajif southwest Deir ez-Zor, while no confirmation was obtained as to the attacks presumed on sites within the borders of Deir ez-Zor city, including the Directorate of Development building on Harabesh neighborhood, al-Naser building, former Faculty of Education, and the headquarters of the Military Security service in Baghazi Ayyash area.

“With dozens of night air raids, Israel has launched extensive attacks on military sites of Iranian militias in al-Bukamal city, as far as the Syria-Iraq borders. One site, opposite of the mechanic bakery on Boursaid street in Deir ez-Zor city, was destroyed, and all the militants stationed there died,” military analyst Ahmad Rahal said on Twitter.

Before dawn, the Israeli enemy air raided al-Bukamal, the Syrian regime’s Ministry of Defense stated.

“At 1:10 a.m., the Israeli enemy targeted Deir ez-Zor city and al-Bukamal with airstrikes. Outcomes of these hostilities are being assessed right now,” SANA reported, quoting the ministry.

This is the fourth time in three weeks that the Israeli air force attacks posts in Syria, the Syrian regime stated.

Before the raids

In the past few days, the Russian command withdrew dozens of its forces, including commanders, from the al-Bukamal city, Eye of the Euphrates network reported.

The Russian command demobilized commanders stationed at a hotel, made into headquarters in the city, keeping only local recruits, the network added.

“A rift” between Tehran and Moscow is the reason why the Russian commanders were taken from the posts in the city, the network reported.

Russians are concerned for their troops from possible attacks by the Iranian militias, particularly since their headquarters is located at the center of these militias’ control area and is not properly fortified.

Militants of the Iranian 47th regiment attempted to arrest a Russian recruit at a checkpoint in the city two days ago and were only stopped by a Russian patrol.

Prior to the reported air raids, locals in rural Deir ez-Zor heard six blasts on Tuesday, tracing them to the al-Bukamal desert areas.

Even though the blasts took place in separate areas; they were massive and echoed in al-Bukamal city. The blasts have likely taken place in the al-Thalathat, a desert area south of al-Bukamal, reported the local Naher Media.

The blasts alarmed Iranian militias, who evacuated posts on the al-Jam’iyat neighborhood in the al-Bukamal city and took refuge in populated areas, added the outlet.

For three hours on Tuesday, drones hovered over the area, which also sow training by the forces of the US-led coalition on heavy military ranged weapons in the Koniko gas field.

 

Al-Bukamal significance for Iran

Al-Bukamal is one of the key Syrian areas with the highest counts of Iranian militants. The number of militants deployed there is unknown, but they have been a constant target to Israel and US-led air raids.

Several militias are deployed in the area, most notably the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Harakat al-Nujaba, Hezbollah,  Liwa Fatemiyoun (Fatemiyoun Brigade), Liwa Zainebiyoun (Zainebiyoun Brigade), and Battalion 313.

Al-Bukamal is Iran’s land access point to Syria, and then Lebanon, considered an extension to the Iraqi Anbar desert, while connected to desert areas in Sweida, Daraa, Palmyra, and Deir ez-Zor. This grants al-Bukamal, as a stronghold for Iranian militias, an economic value as well.

Al-Bukamal is also located on the supply line between Iraq and Syria, becoming Iran’s only breakthrough, especially after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took over the al-Ya’rubiyah Syria-Iraq border-crossing and the U.S. controlled the al-Tanf crossing in Deir ez-Zor.

 

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