Airstrikes were launched Tuesday night against a fuel truck convoy on the Qaim border between Iraq and Syria. At least 10 people were reported killed, though some report as many as 14, with many injured and the toll likely to rise.
The Qaim area of the border is a common site for attacks, and many Shi’ite militias are present there. Initial reports were that the truck convoy may have had Iranian nationals within, which is often used interchangeably by media outlets for Shi’ite militia members.
Conspicuously, there has been no claim of credit for the convoy airstrikes.In the past, attacks in this area of the border are often the work of the US or Israel. The death of “Iranians” adds to the likelihood Israel was involved.
Speculation of US involvement arose due to a US citizen being shot and killed in Baghdad this week, with the strike suspected as US retaliation. US officials say they are “monitoring” the situation, but the BBC quoted US Army officials denying involvement.
Smuggling fuel into Syria has become big business in recent years. Syria’s self-sufficiency in oil has significantly declined both from war damage and the US occupying one of the major oilfields for a policy to “take the oil” that President Trump advocated.
The US has been interested in stopping the smuggling to keep Syria hamstrung by fuel shortages. This was meant to keep them from winning the war, but has continued despite the rebels almost all being defeated.