Hezbollah say 'Syrian army camp' hit by Israel
An army camp in eastern Syria was hit in Israeli airstrikes on Monday, Bashar al-Assad's ally Hezbollah has said, with other reports suggesting that the target was an Iranian military base.
The Lebanese movement said that there were no casualties in the attack which hit a still-under-construction Syrian army base in the border town of Albukamal.
"The enemy targeted a camp under construction for the Syrian army and its allies to house soldiers away from civilian homes... The building was empty at the time of targeting and there were no casualties," Hezbollah's media unit reported.
Reports have suggested that the target in Deir az-Zour was an Iranian militia base, a region where Tehran's influence has been growing.
Omar Abu Layla, Director of Deirezzor 24 monitoring site said, told The New Arab that it is a clear signal to Iran that Israel can strike its military targets deep inside Syria.
"It is a clear message that all Iranian positions and military bases in the region will be bombed without hesitation, or rather all the Iranian positions are exposed and accessible to Israel," he told The New Arab.
"There is great secrecy from the Iranians regarding the points that have been targeted in the region. They are headquarters that were not hidden, but the strikes were aimed directly at the Iranians not Assad's forces. It was a clear message from the Israelis to target the Iranians in the most geographically [distant] regions of Syria, including their presence in Deir az-Zour."
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said that the strikes hit an Iranian militia base.
Iran has helped prop up the Assad regime with thousands of militia fighters and Revolutionary Guards' officers. Israel has numerous Iranian-linked targets in Syria but the strikes in the east mark a widening of this campaign.