Alleged Israeli strikes in eastern Syria said to target missile shipments

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The targets of the airstrikes in eastern Syria earlier today were a large shipment of missiles brought into the country for Iran-backed militias in recent weeks, a Syrian news outlet reports.

At least 16 Iran-linked sites were struck in the Deir Ezzor and Boukamal areas of eastern Syria in the predawn hours of Wednesday morning in a series of airstrikes attributed to Israel.

Omar Abu Layla, a Europe-based activist who runs DeirEzzor24, a media collective that reports from eastern Syria, says the missiles were brought in by the Fatimiyeoun, a Shiite militia organized by Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that is principally made up of fighters from Afghanistan.

According to Abu Layla, who cited no sources, the missiles were brought into Syria from the beginning of 2021 and stored inside the militia’s warehouses in the Deir Ezzor region, which contain a series of underground tunnels and storerooms.

“The warehouses have a control and telecommunications building, and reconnaissance aircraft headquarters.

They include heavy and light weapons, and heat-seeking and medium-range missiles. Most of the arms are Iranian and Russian,” he says.