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Airstrikes on Eastern Syria Blamed on Israel Kill Up to 57, Most Iran-Backed Fighters

Airstrikes aimed at eastern Syria early on Wednesday morning targeted Iranian military positions and arms storage depots.

Syria’s state news agency SANA said that the warplanes bombing the area belonged to Israel. The some 18 air strikes targeted the Deir Ezzor Governorat along the border with Iraq, including targeting Ayyash warehouses and Al-Saiqa camp at the outskirts of Deir Ezzor and warehouses and headquarters in the villages of Al-Bukamal and Al-Mayadin. Militias of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and of Hizbullah are stationed in the area, according to SANA.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 23 people were killed, including seven Syrians. The other dead were reported to be Iran-backed fighters. It later put the number of those killed at 57.

The Associated Press cited a senior US intelligence official with knowledge of the attack as saying that the airstrikes were carried out with intelligence provided by the US and aimed to attack warehouses in Syria being used to store and stage Iranian weapons.

Israel’s military has neither confirmed nor denied the report.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mossad head Yossi Cohen, met in Washington on Monday, according to reports. The unnamed US intelligence official told the AP that they were discussing the attack.