The Middle East has always been a powder cake. While some may attribute it to the regional religion based power blocs, others consider American and Russian influence to be the cause of unrest. Regardless, this region often sees hostilities and bloodshed. Israel’s strike on Syria adds to the increasing death toll in the Middle East. Today, we look into the strike that has been dubbed as the deadliest one yet.
WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED?
Israeli forces carried out airstrikes on East Syria, which led to 57 casualties. Agence-France Presse claims it to be the deadliest strike yet, due to the sheer amount of casualties reported. These 18 overnight strikes were carried out in Deir Ezzor/Deir Al-Zour (in an outskirts military installation), Albu Kamal (military installation) and in warehouses outside Mayadin. It led to the following casualties: –
- 14 Syrian Regime Forces
- 16 Iraqi Militia Fighters
- 11 Afghan members of the Pro-Fatimid Brigade
- The nationality of 16 others who were killed by the strikes , is still unknown
Though Iran’s state run Arabic TV Channel Al-Alam reported no Iraqi, Syrian or Fatimid casualties. However, the same was claimed when similar strikes in 2018 killed around 55 pro government fighters, including Syrians and Iraqis as well.
Associated Press points towards the involvement of US Intelligence behind the strikes. However the US official who gave this news refuses to be named. Given that these strikes came hours after separate airstrikes carried out on the Iraq-Syria border, many consider this to be a coordinated attack. Those airstrikes targeted Iraq-backed militia fighters and led to 12 casualties.
PURPOSE OF THE STRIKE
Days before this strike, the Pro-Fatimid Brigade was reported to have carrying consignments of weapons manufactured in Iran. These were being transported from Iraq to East Syria. The matches with the statement given by the unnamed US official. He claimed that the warehouses that were targeted, was being used to store Iranian weapons. He also claimed that the warehouses served as a pipeline/storage depot for materials that supported Iran’s nuclear programme.
Said claims have also been verified by DeirEzzor 24 news (local news). It claimed that the targeted warehouses were used to store a shipment of multiple weapons (including missiles) manufactured in Iran. These were bring brought here by the Fatimid Brigade recently, with the intention of distributing it among Iraq-backed militias.
Israel has always been at odds with the Arab nations, right from the 60s. The United States on the other hand has been interfering especially in Syria’s affairs due to its anti-Assad Stance; a stance that it has had due to Russia’s growing closeness with the regime. On top of that, the US-Iran relations haven’t been cordial since the Trump Administration backed out of the JCPOA and has been imposing sanctions on Iran ever since. Thus, call it a convergence of interests or military high handedness, Israel’s recent strikes on Syria were the deadliest ones yet.
These strikes are an apt reflection of the “Surveillance Era” that we are living in now. The precision with which these were carried out shows how closely srael had been monitoring the movement of Iranian supplies in Syria. The Middle Eastern face off is not going to end anytime soon. Only time will tell how Iran and Syria are going to retaliate. Are we at the brink of another civil war?????? Only time will tell.