The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

US airstrikes | 17 Iraqis killed and trucks carrying ammunition destroyed in attacks on Iranian-backed militias near border crossing with Iraq

SOHR activists have reported new airstrikes in the early hours of Friday morning on Iranian-backed militias in west Euphrates region. US fighter jets have targeted a weapons shipment affiliated to Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, while it was crossing into Syria from Iraq, at 01:00 am Syria time, near Al-Qa’em crossing in Al-Bokamal area in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor. The airstrikes have left great human and material losses, as SOHR activists have documented the death of 17 Iranian-backed Iraqi militiamen, specifically affiliated to Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, while, three trucks carrying ammunition were destroyed. It is worth noting that forces of the Iraqi Hezbollah are also stationed in the targeted area.


According to SOHR sources the Iranian forces and their proxy factions have evacuated several posts and headquarters in Al-Bokamal immediately after the attack, where they have been redeployed in other positions for fear of being subjected to successive attacks.


On February 22, reliable sources informed SOHR that the Iranian-backed Afghani militia of “Liwa Fatemiyoun” brought in a new weapons shipment to its positions in west Euphrates region.


According to SOHR sources, the new shipment, which included shells, missiles and ammunition, entered Syria exactly at 05:30 Syria time aboard vegetable trucks from Iraq, via an unofficial crossing. The trucks headed to Al-Mazare’ area on the outskirts of Al-Mayadeen in eastern Deir Ezzor, which hosts the largest gatherings of Iranian forces and their proxy militias.


SOHR sources also reported that the recently-arrived shipment were stored in tunnels dug previously by ISIS in Al-Mazare’ during its control of the area.


While on February 20, Reliable SOHR sources from the western banks of the Euphrates River in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor said that a new shipment of weapons was brought in by Iranian forces and loyal militias to Syrian territory from Iraq.


A day earlier, three “vegetables and fruit” trucks were used as camouflage, were loaded with Iranian weapons and ammunition, which entered from an illegal crossing between Iraq and Syria near the village of Al-Abbas, which belongs to al-Jala area in the countryside of Albu Kamal city, east of Deir ez-Zor. Iran uses these illegal crossings to transport weapons and ammunition, and the shipment was unloaded in that area. No information has been reported as to whether shipment was transported to other Iranian positions.


While on February 11, reliable sources told the Syrian Observatory that an unidentified drone targeted that morning a car carrying a shipment of weapons coming from Iraq, near an illegal military crossing between Iraq and Syria. The crossing is used by militias to move between the two countries and to bring in reinforcement and shipments near the city of AlbuKamal in eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor.


Meanwhile, violent explosions were heard in the area after the car loaded with ammunition and weapons was targeted, which resulted in the destruction of the shipment and the death of four militiamen.