Unverified reports have said that two more airstrikes were launched in eastern Syria on Monday near the Iraqi border following a strike in the area that was reported on Sunday night. Israel is suspected of being behind the attacks since it has previously launched similar airstrikes in the region.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the second strike took place Monday morning when an “Iranian-backed militia leader,” likely referring to an Iraqi Shia militia leader, was inspecting the site of Sunday’s strike in the Al Bukamal border region.
The SOHR said that the leader and two of his “non-Syrian escorts” were killed in airstrikes launched by drones. Later in the day, SOHR said an airstrike hit an oil tanker in the same region that was allegedly carrying weapons, killing at least one person.
In total, SOHR said 11 people have been killed since the strikes started on Sunday night, but the toll is not verified, and the observatory often changes its reports.
The SOHR also claimed that a convoy of refrigerator trucks that was targeted on Sunday night was carrying weapons. However, other reports contradicted the claim, with sources telling Al-Mayadeen, a Lebanon-based media outlet, that the convoy did “not carry any weapons.”
Adding to the likelihood that Israel was responsible for the attacks, Israeli media reported that Israeli officials held discussions on potential Iranian retaliation for the airstrikes on the convoys. The airstrikes on Monday came as Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel.
In November, Israel launched airstrikes targeting a convoy of trucks in eastern Syria shortly after they entered the country from Iraq. The former head of the Israeli Defense Forces confirmed that Israel was behind the attacks in a rare acknowledgment of Israel’s operations in Syria.
by Dave DeCamp
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