Israel Strikes Iraqi Factions Inside Syrian Territory

  • "In the early morning hours, Shiite militias, led by the Iranian Quds Force, fired a number of rocket-propelled grenades from the outskirts of Damascus, but all failed to reach their target and failed to reach Israel."
  • Israel's announcement comes after air strikes targeting Iranian forces, and pro-Iranian groups in eastern Syria, on Sunday night.
  • According to media reports, the border between Iraq and Syria is witnessing a proliferation of members of the Lebanese group Hezbollah and its Iraqi battalions.

The Iranian “Al-Quds” Corps fired several rockets from inside Syria towards Israel, in response to an air strike targeting the positions of Iraqi Shiite factions operating under its command in the province of Deir Ezzor. In a rare incident, the Israeli army spotted an attempt to launch several rockets from the vicinity of the Syrian capital, Damascus, toward Tel Aviv yesterday. Israel accused the militias under the command of the Quds Force, led by Qassem Soleimani, of launching the attack.

“In the early morning hours, Shiite militias, led by the Iranian Quds Force, fired a number of rocket-propelled grenades from the outskirts of Damascus, but all failed to reach their target and failed to reach Israel,” the army said in a statement. Military spokesman Avichai Adrai blamed the Syrian government for “every operation that proceeds from its territory,” warning the regime of President Bashar al-Assad that he “would pay a heavy price for allowing the Iranians and Shiite militias to operate from within his territory, where he turns a blind eye. This thing is not hidden from us.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, founded in May 2006, is a United Kingdom-based information office whose stated aim is to document human rights abuses in Syria; since 2011 it has focused on the Syrian Civil War.

Israel’s announcement comes after air strikes targeting Iranian forces, and pro-Iranian groups in eastern Syria, on Sunday night killed 21 fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. An Iraqi security source revealed that 18 people were killed and 38 wounded by air strikes in Albukamal. Iraqi security expert Hisham al-Hashemi said that the targeted Iraqi factions were the militias “Haidarion”, “al-Abadal” and “Hezbollah battalions,” adding that the name of the fourth faction was not confirmed but could be “Fatimion” or “Nujaba.”

A source in the border guards said that the factions did not know whether they belonged to the Popular Mobilization Brigade and bombed inside the border area of ​​Albukamal by an unspecified flight. He stressed the spokesman for the Iraqi Joint Command that the bombing took place inside Syrian territory, denying that the target sites were inside Iraq.

According to media reports, the border between Iraq and Syria is witnessing a proliferation of members of the Lebanese group Hezbollah and its Iraqi battalions, as well as the Nujaba Movement, and the factions of Fatimion and Zeinabion. The Associated Press quoted a Syrian opposition group as saying, that the strikes hit a weapons depot for the forces of the “Popular Mobilization” Iraqi-backed Iran.

The network Fox News revealed, citing Western intelligence sources, that Iran was to build a new military base in Syria on the border with Iraq called the “Imam Ali compound.” The network also reported that Iran is building a border crossing not far from the new complex.

RT (formerly Russia Today) is a Russian international television network funded by the Russian government. RT has been frequently described as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government and its foreign policy. RT has also been accused of spreading disinformation by news reporters, including some former RT reporters.

The past weeks have seen five major bombings of warehouses belonging to the “crowd” factions. The latest occurred near the base of Balad, north of Baghdad, where the headquarters of the joint Iraqi and US forces, and the main runway of the F16 aircraft, is located. With the second day of Eid al-Adha, Baghdad witnessed massive explosions, not seen in past years, where a loud explosion broke out in the equipment stores in the southern suburbs. The third day, without ending a panic wave, many families were forced to flee their homes north of the city. The channel Russia Today quoted an Iraqi security source, saying the opening of the border post between Iraq and Syria is postponed  “until further notice,” which was scheduled to be open yesterday.

Israel has vowed to prevent Iran, its main enemy, from establishing a military presence in Syria. It has carried out hundreds of strikes against its positions, and Hezbollah, to this end, but rarely recognizes them. A military spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Israel was behind the latest attacks. Amid reports of a convoy of 150 trucks loaded with US aid from northern Iraq to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) east of the Euphrates, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Russia ordered militias to withdraw from the Mork area north of Hama and Khan Sheikhoun in favor of joint patrols with Turkish forces.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site. 

 


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