Explosions hit area run by Iranian-backed militias in Syria

Explosions hit area run by Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria
2 min read
28 September, 2021
Several explosions were reported in eastern Syria on Monday, later confirmed to be artillery shells fired by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Gorps (IRGC) during military exercises.
Over the past year, strikes by unmanned Israeli aircrafts have concentrated on the border town of Albu Kamal, southeast of Mayadeen in Syria [source: Getty]

Unidentified aircraft hit a base run by Iranian-backed militias in Syria's eastern province of Deir al Zor near the Iraqi border where Tehran has in the last year expanded its military presence, residents and military sources said on Monday.

Explosions were reported south of the town of Mayadeen along the Euphrates River which has become a major base for several Shi'ite militias, mostly from Iraq, since Islamic State militants were driven out nearly four years ago.

It was later Tweeted that there had been no airstrikes in the area around Al-Mayadeen city on Monday. A source confirmed that the sounds of the explosions were due to artillery shells fired by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Gorps (IRGC) as it was conducting military exercises in the badiyah. 

"Panicky militias were calling on pedestrians and cars to clear the city centre and main streets around it," Ahmad al Shawi, a resident told Reuters in a text message.

Iranian-backed militia fighters patrolling the streets were put on heightened alert and ambulances were seen rushing to the desert outskirts of the city after several explosions were heard, two residents said.

The militias now control the mainly Sunni tribal town, part of a growing presence across Deir al Zor province, residents and military sources say.

Over the past year, strikes by unmanned Israeli aircraft have concentrated on the border town of Albu Kamal, southeast of Mayadeen, that lies on a strategic supply route for Iranian-backed militias who regularly send reinforcements from Iraq into Syria.

The Iranian-backed militias are also in control of large stretches of the frontier on the Iraqi side.

Western intelligence sources say Israel has expanded airstrikes on suspected arms transfers and deployments by Iranian backed militia and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies which support Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.