BFF-34 East Syria strikes kill 7 Iran-backed fighters: monitor

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BFF-34

SYRIA-CONFLICT-ISRAEL

East Syria strikes kill 7 Iran-backed fighters: monitor

BEIRUT, May 17, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Late-night strikes on a position
held by Iranian militias and their allies in eastern Syria killed
seven fighters, a war monitor said on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the strikes on “a
base” controlled by Iranian forces and their proxies near the
Syrian-Iraqi border town of Albu Kamal on Saturday night, according to
the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“The attack killed seven Iran-backed paramilitary fighters,” the
monitor said, also reporting material damage.

The Observatory added that military reinforcements for Iranian
militias and their allies had arrived to the area days before the
attack.

Iranian-backed militias and their allies command a significant
presence in eastern Syria south of the Euphrates Valley.

Israel has launched hundreds of strikes in Syria since the start of
the civil war in 2011, targeting government troops, allied Iranian
forces and fighters from the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

It rarely confirms details of its operations in Syria, but says
Iran’s presence in support of President Bashar al-Assad is a threat
and that it will continue its strikes.

Earlier this month, Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett said,
“Iran has nothing to do in Syria… (and) we won’t stop before they
leave Syria.”

Bennett accused Iran of “trying to establish itself on the border
with Israel to threaten Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa”.

On May 5, strikes on positions held by Iran-backed militias and
their allies in eastern Syria killed 14 fighters.

BSS/AFP/MRU/1950hrs