Israel is accused of a deadly strike on an Iranian convoy on the Syria-Iraq border

Israel is accused of a deadly strike on an Iranian convoy on the Syria-Iraq border

Israel is accused of a deadly strike on an Iranian convoy on the Syria-Iraq border

On Wednesday, Israel was accused of carrying out a series of airstrikes on a convoy near the Syria-Iraq border, killing at least 10 people, including a number of Iranian fighter jets.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks on a number of trucks as they crossed from Iraq to Syria through the Al-Qaim checkpoint shortly before midnight on Tuesday. The trucks were reportedly transporting fuel and possibly weapons from Iran to Lebanon.

A report by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the attack, said Israel was behind the strikes, which killed 10 people, including an unknown number of Iranians.

The Lebanese news outlet al-Mayadeen, which is believed to be close to the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, also blamed Israel for the attack.

A Lebanese report said two fuel tanks were targeted in the strikes and said there were no casualties. It cites anonymous sources on the ground.

The Israeli army declined to comment on the incident, in line with its general policy of not confirming its involvement in specific strikes.

Israel has reportedly carried out hundreds of strikes against targets in government-held areas of Syria in recent years, but has rarely acknowledged or discussed such actions. It has, however, admitted to targeting arms shipments and the positions of militant groups allied with Iran, such as the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.

Asked about Wednesday’s strike, Ram Ben Barak, head of the Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said only that Israel was “very determined to protect Israel’s security.”

“We will not allow Hezbollah to arm itself with this or any other type of material. We will do everything necessary to prevent this,” he said.

From its base in Beirut, Hezbollah said it had no connection to the convoy attack.

Most of Israel’s alleged strikes have targeted areas of Syria closer to Damascus or the center of the country, although it has been accused of carrying out attacks outside that area, including in Deir el-Zor, where the attack took place.

The US military said it had no involvement in the Al-Qaim attack.

“No U.S. force or U.S.-led coalition (member) has conducted an airstrike in Al-Qaim, Iraq, on the border with Syria,” Army Maj. Rachel L. Jeffcoat.

The airstrikes hit trucks carrying fuel and other trucks carrying weapons for armed groups in Syria’s eastern Deir al-Zour province shortly before midnight Tuesday, according to the Britain-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least 14 people, most of them militiamen, were killed in the strike, said the monitor, which was previously accused of exaggerating the death toll.

Activists Deir Zor 24 reported three airstrikes targeting Iranian-backed militias in the Syrian border town of Bukamal and nearby areas. No casualties have been reported yet.

Earlier, members of the Iraqi military groups operating in the area reported that at least 10 people were killed in an airstrike on a fuel convoy across the Iraqi border to Syria late on Tuesday. The strike hit a convoy of about 15 trucks as it passed near the Syrian town of al-Qaim, two militants told The Associated Press.

It was unclear where the convoy was coming from, but officers said some of those killed were Iranian nationals. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the strikes with reporters.

Israel is accused of a deadly strike on an Iranian convoy on the Syria-Iraq border

Pictorial. Smoke rises from the reported ongoing bombardment by Syrian government forces and the Russian air force in the southern areas of Idlib, northwest Syria, on October 20, 2019. (Abdulaziz KETAZ / AFP)

Earlier Wednesday, Iran’s English-language state television service Press TV, citing unnamed sources, claimed an attack on a fuel truck crossing from Iraq to Syria at the Al-Qaim border crossing.

Press TV claimed that the convoy was transporting Iranian oil through Syria to Lebanon. Iranian officials did not provide details about the casualties.

Iranian state television claimed the convoy attack was carried out by US drones and helicopters, without providing any evidence to support the claim. The convoy was said to include 22 cargo trucks, adding that the attack came after eight of the trucks had crossed into Syria.

Hezbollah fighters hold their group’s flag as they stand in front of a statue of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and pledge allegiance to him during a ceremony marking the second anniversary of his assassination in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. January 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Iran is a backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has sent thousands of Iranian-backed fighters to aid Syrian troops in the country’s 11-year civil war. Both Tehran and the Assad government are allied with Hezbollah, which fought alongside Assad’s forces in the war.

In August, the US military launched airstrikes in Deir el-Zor targeting Iranian-backed militias. The Pentagon said the strikes were a message to Iran and Tehran-backed militias, which targeted US troops earlier this month and several times over the past year.

At the time, Deir Zor 24 reported that US airstrikes targeted Camp Ayash, which is run by the Fatimim group, a Shiite militant group from Afghanistan, killing a total of 10.

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