An American intelligence source revealed that the Israeli strikes on eastern Syria were carried out with US cooperation, to target Iranian weapons depots, and there were conflicting reports about the number of victims, as some sources estimated dozens of deaths.
The Associated Press quoted a senior US intelligence official as saying that the Israeli air strikes were carried out based on US intelligence, stressing that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed it with the head of the Israeli intelligence service, Yossi Cohen, at a public meeting in a restaurant in Washington.
The official explained that after midnight last night, the strikes targeted a series of warehouses in Deir Ezzor Governorate, which were used to store and equip Iranian weapons.
Local sources told Al-Jazeera that 10 Iranian militia members were killed in the airstrikes, and that the bombing also resulted in a large number of wounded in the Iranian forces, and they were transferred to a hospital for the Iranian forces in the area and approaching the place was prevented.
The sources pointed out that the Israeli bombing is the largest in eastern Syria, where the number of raids reached more than 25, and included the cities of Deir Ezzor, Al-Mayadeen and Al-Bukamal.
The planes targeted the vicinity of Deir Ezzor Airport, weapons depots called “Ayyash warehouses”, and a switching center for the Iranian forces in Deir Ezzor, which usually contains more than 100 personnel.
For its part, Iranian media quoted an Iranian official source as saying, “There are no Iranians killed in the Israeli attack on Deir Ezzor.”
The Syrian News Agency also quoted a military source as saying that an Israeli air strike was hit by Deir Ezzor Governorate, without announcing the size of the losses.
Dozens of dead and wounded
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the bombing killed 9 members of the regime forces, and 24 other non-Syrian fighters loyal to Iran, and wounded 37 others.
The Observatory added that the Israeli strikes came days after the pro-Iranian Afghan “Fatemiyoun Brigade” brought in 4 trucks loaded with Iranian weapons from the Iraqi side, whose cargo was unloaded in warehouses at the targeted sites.
In separate air strikes yesterday, 12 pro-Iranian fighters were killed and 15 other non-Syrians were wounded in the Albu Kamal desert, without being able to identify the aircraft that launched them.
The Israeli threat
In response to a question from the Israeli Radio Reshet Bet about this bombing, Minister of Settlements Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi said that he would not comment on the matter, but added that Israel is striking Iranian targets in Syria “again and again … when intelligence information dictates to us and according to our operational capabilities.” .
Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said last month that the missile strikes “slowed the pace of the entrenchment of the Iranian presence in Syria.”
Israel rarely confirms the implementation of these strikes, but the Israeli army announced in a rare step two weeks ago, and in its annual report, that during the year 2020, it had bombed about 50 targets in Syria, without providing details.
On November 18, the Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adrai said – the day after Israel announced that it had bombed “military targets of the Iranian Quds Force and the Syrian army” in southern Syria – that Israel “will continue to act according to the need to strike the Iranian position in Syria, which poses a threat to regional stability.” “.