US-Assisted Israeli Attacks in East Syria Kill at Least 57

18 targets hit along Iraq-Syria border

Described by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as the deadliest strike since June 2018, Israeli warplanes carried out a flurry of attacks overnight in eastern Syria, killing at least 57, including Syrian soldiers and Shi’ite militia members.

18 strikes were conducted along the Syria-Iraq border. The slain included Syrian troops, Iraqi Shi’ite militias and Afghan militia members. Israel refused to comment on the attacks, as they typically do with strikes on Syria.

Israel has been escalating attacks on targets in Syria for awhile, and this was the fourth set of attacks in the past two weeks. The attacks are seen as trying to provoke a response from Iran, while Iran is trying to wait for Trump to leave office.

US officials are pointing to their own involvement with this, saying Mike Pompeo provided the intelligence to Mossad. They suggested the intelligence was about Iranian arms. It’s not clear why so many troops were killed if warehouses were the target.

This is a much bigger attack than most, in which Israel kills a handful of Shi’ites, and the Israeli press labels them Iranians, even though they rarely are. It isn’t clear if any Iranians were slain in this attack, though some of the slain have not been identified yet.

The Syrian Observatory suggested Iranian-made weapons were being stored in the area where the attacks took place. Again, Israel hasn’t commented directly, so it’s unclear why they attacked or what they intended to target.


Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.