On the night of Sunday to Monday, an Iranian-built base in eastern Syria was hit by strikes which killed and wounded dozens of anti-ISIS pro-government fighters and destroyed a number of ammunition storage sites.
The base in eastern Syria that was attacked housed both Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) detachments as well as Iranian-backed forces. It was located near the Iraqi border between Abu Kamal and the decommissioned Hamdan Airport.
It is still unknown if the attack was carried out by loitering munitions (which Israel is famous for using against targets in Syria) or by guided missiles; however, the nature of the precision air attack which hit specific targets combined with Israel’s rabid tendency to strike anything even slightly linked to Iran all suggest that this was the force behind the bombing.
Syrian military sources speaking to Al-Mayadeen News have stated that Israel was the one who conducted the attack.
The Iraqi and Iranian-backed forces which operate in Syria with government permission play a key role in countering the ongoing ISIS desert insurgency along the Syrian-Iraqi border region.
Countless Syrian Army defensive operations aimed at protecting western Euphrates cities such as Abu Kamal, Mayadeen and Deir Ezzor as well as offensive combing operations that drive ISIS remnants from hide-outs in the desert have been assisted by both the Iraqi PMU and Iranian-backed forces.
As a result of the attack, about 20 pro-government fighters were killed and around another three dozen wounded; the locations struck seem to have been four ammunition storage sites.
Desert bases in eastern Syria are important when it comes to anti-ISIS operations; they allow pro-government forces to mobilize units and store ammunition away from population centers which both better preserves mission secrecy and keeps non-combatants out of the line of fire from groups (such as Israel and ISIS) who do not hesitate to attack civilian areas if it serves a military advantage.
The destruction of ammunition depots and killing of pro-government fighters in eastern Syria by Israel only serves to compromise future anti-ISIS offensive and defensive operations across the region.