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Five Iran-linked fighters killed by 'mysterious' strike in Syria

Deir ez-Zor is a stronghold for Pro-Iran militia groups in Syria [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 December, 2019

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A war monitor has reported that explosion hit the 'headquarters of the 47th Brigade of pro-Iranian militias' in Deir al-Zour. The origin of the blasts remain unknown.
Five Iran-backed militia fighters were killed in unidentified militia strikes on Wednesday evening in the town of Abu Kamal, in Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour.

Loud blasts rocked the surround areas as unknown aircraft circled the skies of the area, The Euphrates Post reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that explosions struck the headquarters of the "47th Brigade of pro-Iranian militias" in Deir al-Zour, which sits on the Iraqi-Syrian border.

The war monitor added that deaths were a result of an "unidentified strike", the details of which differ among sources. Some claim that it was caused by drones, while other believed long-range missiles were responsible.

Iran and its supporting militias, including fighters from Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, have stood firmly on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government during the country's eight-year war.

Deir al-Zour is considered a major Iranian stronghold in the country. According to The New Arab's Arabic Language sister-site, those fleeing mandatory service in the areas controlled by the Syrian regime rush to join the militia groups, who reward them handsomely with monthly stipends of around $200.

Yet the vast desert province is home to other actors in the Syrian conflict beside pro-regime forces. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the US, played a pivotal role in driving ISIS from the territory.

This is not the first time mysterious aircrafts have been implicated in an attack on pro-regime militia in Abu Kamal.
Last month, SOHR reported that an unmanned drone targeted a vehicle belonging to Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces, killing all those inside.

Syria's complex, multi-faceted conflict has killed almost hald a million people according the SOHR, with million displaced since anti-government demonstrations were brutally repressed in 2011.

Syrian forces, with the assistance of Russia, have intensified their bombing campaign of Idlib, which Bashar Al Assad has vowed to re-take at all costs, prompting a flood of refugee fleeing northwards into Turkey.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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