Iranian military in Syria | IRGC transport missiles shipment from Al-Mayadeen to eastern Al-Raqqah
Reliable sources in Al-Mayadeen city in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor have informed the Syrian Observatory that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have transported Iranian-made missiles, stored in the basements of Al-Rahbaa archaeological fortress nearby Al-Mayadeen in the west of Euphrates region, to areas under the control of Iranian forces in the eastern countryside of Al-Raqqah. The shipment of missiles were transported also in trucks used for transporting vegetables and fruit as a part of camouflage. Meanwhile, the reasons behind the transport of the missiles to this area remained unclear, especially since it coincided with the Russian movements a few kilometres away from this area, specifically in Ma’adan Atiq desert, near the administrative border between Deir Ezzor and Al-Raqqah.
On April 16, Russian forces continued the construction of a new base in the south-eastern countryside of al-Raqqah at the administrative border with Deir Ezzor province, where the Russians have completed the construction of the airstrip near Ma’adan Atiq, as Russian helicopters began to use it. As the construction of military posts continued near the airstrip, Russian forces were transporting logistical and military equipment to accomplish their scheme. According to SOHR sources, the Russians wanted to achieve many goals, chief of which were to hinder Iran’s military expansion in Syria, especially since they were stationed in positions near them, relying mainly on the Fifth Corps established by Russia, and to counter ISIS activities in the desert.
While on April 14, SOHR sources reported that Russian forces begun to establish a base and military posts in the south-eastern countryside of Raqqah. According to Syrian Observatory sources, Russian forces began to establish a new helicopters helipad, military posts and positions near the village of Ma’adan Atiq, which is controlled by regime forces, south-east of Raqqah. Russian forces started transporting equipment and logistical supplies to their new positions by helicopters. The site would also include posts and positions for the Russian-backed 5th Corps in order to protect the Russian posts and form a defence line.
On April 12, reliable sources informed the Syrian Observatory that a military delegation comprising officers of the Russian military police and others from the pro-Russia “5th Corps” visited the military airport of Al-Tabqa on Monday, where the delegation conducted an inspection tour in the posts of National Defense Forces and the 5th Corps in al-Raqqah countryside.
This development coincided with new reinforcement brought in by regime forces and the 5th Corps in order to launch a new military campaign in the Syrian desert, specifically in the deserts of Safian and Al-Rusafa in al-Raqqa countryside, against ISIS members and cells prevalent in the region, along with a similar campaign by the same forces, backed by Russian air support, in al-Mayadeen desert since the beginning of this month.