Beirut (AP) – Israeli warplanes carried out severe air strikes in eastern Syria early Wednesday, apparently targeting the positions and arsenals of Iranian-backed forces. Dozens of fighters were killed or injured according to opposition war investigations.
A senior U.S. intelligence official with knowledge of the attack told The Associated Press that the air strike was carried out by US-supplied intelligence, a rare incidence of public relations cooperation between the United States and the United States. Two countries to target in Syria Officials said the strike was targeted at several warehouses in Syria that were used in Iranian transport pipelines to store and organize weapons.
The U.S. official, who asked to remain anonymous to talk about sensitive national security issues, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had discussed by air on Tuesday with spy agency chief Yossi Cohen. Israel̵7;s Mossad at a public meeting in Washington popular restaurant Café Milano on Monday.
Officials said the warehouse was also used as a pipe for components supporting Iran’s nuclear program.
Syria’s SANA news agency said the attack took place in the vicinity of Deir el-Zour, Mayadeen and Boukamal along the Iraqi border. An unnamed military official claimed that Syrian air defense forces responded to incoming missiles. No further details are available.
Opposition war watchdogs reported at least 18 attacks in Deir el-Zour and along the Iraqi border, saying attacks on several armory facilities were launched. Syria’s Human Rights Watch, based in Britain, said 23 people were killed, including seven Syrians, the rest of Iran-backed fighters, saying 28 were injured.
“They burned Iran’s position in Deir el-Zour,” said Omar Abu Laila, a European activist from the eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour, a group of activists reporting news in border areas. He recorded at least 16 target buildings, warehouses or military bases for Iran, Lebanon and Iraqi militants in Boukamal, Mayadeen and Deir el-Zour.
Israel has launched hundreds of attacks on military targets linked to Iran in Syria over the years. But rarely acknowledged or talked about such operations
The watchtower said it recorded 39 Israeli attacks in Syria in 2020 targeting 135 targets, including military towers, warehouses or vehicles. At least 217 people were killed in the attack, most of them militia affiliated with Iran, according to the Watchtower.
The strike comes at a time of escalating tensions in the region in the final days of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Many fear the retaliation that the United States killed last year, Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, could have happened before Trump left office, or that the conflict could erupt into an escape attempt by the administration that has led to a number of attacks. Jo Biden’s came in to negotiate with Iran.
Israel sees Iran’s tenure on the northern border as a red line and has repeatedly attacked Iran-linked sites and armed forces that have been designated Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
The strike also comes amid an escalating low-altitude Israeli fighter mission in Lebanon’s skies, which has caused disturbance among residents and urged Lebanon to file an urgent complaint to. UN on violations of its airspace Israeli officials said the flights were surplus because Hezbollah violated a 2006 United Nations resolution prohibiting military capacity building and operating near the Israeli border.
Associated Press writer James LaPorta in Delray Beach, Florida contributed to the report.