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Iran Building Weapon-Smuggling Tunnels Near Syria-Iraq Border
Syrian air defenses respond to Israeli missile strikes over the capital, Damascus, November 20, 2019. (Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Iran Building Weapon-Smuggling Tunnels Near Syria-Iraq Border

Iran has reportedly started constructing tunnels to smuggle weapons at its Imam Ali base near the Syria-Iraq border. According to Image Sat International, the subterranean corridors are about 130 meters long and wide enough for vehicles. The Iranians broke ground on the base nearly a year ago, and it has since become an integral component of Tehran’s so-called Shi’ite Crescent, a contiguous, militarized land corridor linking the Islamic Republic to Lebanon via Iraq and Syria. For its part, Israel has admitted to or been accused of conducting air strikes for the past 18 months along the Syria-Iraq frontier, and in September is said to have targeted the Imam Ali base for the first time. Notably, the tunnel images were released just days after The New York Times claimed that Iran had transferred short-range ballistic missiles to Iraq. Last December, the Israel Defense Forces launched an operation to destroy a cross-border network of tunnels built by Iran’s Lebanon-based proxy, Hizbullah. The terror group had planned to use the tunnels in a future war to send fighters into Israel to kidnap or kill civilians and soldiers, and perhaps even capture entire towns.

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