Death toll update | 22 militiamen of Iraqi Hezbollah and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces in US strikes on Syria-Iraq border
SOHR activists have documented a spike in the number of Iranian-backed militiamen killed in US airstrikes in the west Euphrates region. 22 militiamen of the Iraqi Hezbollah and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, mostly of the Iraqi Hezbollah, were killed in the US aerial attacks on their positions and a weapons shipment at the time when it was crossing from Iraq to Syria, via a military crossing near Al-Qa’em crossing in Al-Bokamal area in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor. The death toll is expected to rise further as the attack left several militiamen injured, some seriously. There are unconfirmed reports of more casualties.
It is worth noting that attack, which took place at 01:00 am Syria time, destroyed three trucks carrying ammunition.
According to SOHR sources the Iranian forces and their proxy factions evacuated several posts and headquarters in Al-Bokamal immediately after the attack, where they were 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 was 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 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.
While on January 29, reliable sources informed SOHR that short and medium range surface-to-surface Iranian missiles arrived in positions of the Iraqi Hezbollah nearby the regime-controlled town of Al-Tabani in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor. According to SOHR sources, the missiles, whose number reached 56, were brought in to Syria in civilian trucks via unofficial crossings between Syria and Iraq.