Syria: Israel Kills Three Shi’ite Fighters in Airstrikes; ISIS Kills Eight in Ground Ambush

Shi'ite militias in eastern Syria are under growing pressure

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has offered details on the overnight drone strikes against Shi’ite militias on the Iraq-Syria border, describing the attack on the border as having killed three “pro-Iran fighters.”

Meanwhile, a Monday night ambush by ISIS fighters in central Syria’s Homs reportedly killed eight and wounded nine members of a Shi’ite militia, described in this case as “pro-Iran militants.

Though styled as pro-Iran, the Shi’ite militias in question are broadly from Iraq, and deployed into western Iraq and eastern Syria during the ISIS War. ISIS remnants are mostly confined to eastern and central Syria now, though the militias are often being attacked by the US and Israel, each of whom styles them as Iranian for the public narrative.

The groups’ instrumental involvement in the defeat of the ISIS Caliphate has largely been downplayed for the sake of keeping them portrayed negatively as Iranian proxies. This week, however, has shown the groups are very much being targeted by Israel and ISIS at the same time.

It’s not likely that the two events were directly related in any way, but it does reflect the difficulty that the Shi’ite factions are having even as the Syrian War approaches an end and the ISIS remnant force is small.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of