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At Least 8 Iraqi Militia Members Killed in Air Strike on Syria

A nighttime air attack against militia positions in eastern Syria near the border with Iraq has killed at least eight members of the Imam Ali Brigades, one of several Iraqi armed groups aligned with Iran that together are called the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). No one immediately claimed responsibility, but an Iraqi official and a representative of the PMF believed it had been Israeli planes that launched air-to-ground missiles targeting arms-carrying trucks just inside Syria. Israel is known to strike at weapons, whether in depots or convoys, that it believes are being transferred from Iran to Hizbullah, a Lebanon-based Shi’ite proxy of the Islamic Republic that has already fought a full-fledged war with the Jewish state and often threatens that there will be a new one. Israel believes that Tehran has actively been supporting the group’s efforts to improve the accuracy of what are believed to be tens of thousands of surface-to-surface missiles aimed at Israeli territory. The air strike overnight between Thursday and Friday followed a major spike in tensions between Iran and the US, Israel’s key ally and backer, due to an American drone attack last week that killed a senior Iranian general.