Israeli The warplanes launched intense air strikes on the eastern region Syria Early Wednesday, sites and weapons depots for Iranian-backed fighters appeared to have been targeted. Dozens of fighters were killed and wounded, according to the opposition Harb Observatory.
The official Syrian News Agency (SANA) said that the strikes targeted areas in and near the towns of Deir Ezzor, Mayadin and Albu Kamal along the border with Iraq. No further details were provided.
An opposition war observer reported at least 18 strikes in Deir Ezzor as well as along the border with Iraq, saying that several weapons depots were hit. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 23 people were killed, including seven Syrians, and the rest were Iranian-backed fighters. She added that 28 were injured.
A senior US intelligence official with knowledge of the attack told The Associated Press that the airstrikes were carried out with intelligence provided by the United States and targeted a series of warehouses in Syria that were being used as part of the pipeline to store and supply Iran. arms.
The official said the depots served as a pipeline for components supporting Iran’s nuclear program.
“They have burned Iranian sites in Deir Ezzor,” said Omar Abu Layla, a European-based activist from Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria who runs a group of activists who write news in the border region.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against military targets linked to Iran in Syria over the years, but it rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.
The strikes came amid escalating tensions in the region and amid fears that Iran might launch attacks in retaliation for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, one of its top leaders, last year.
Israel views the Iranian position on its northern border as a red line, and has repeatedly bombed facilities linked to Iran and arms convoys bound for Hezbollah.
The US official, who requested anonymity to speak on sensitive national security matters, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the air strike on Tuesday with Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, the Israeli spy agency, at Café Milan, Washington, on Monday.