Three pro-Iranian militia fighters killed in strike on T4

Alleged Israeli strike comes hours after IDF intel assessment finds Soleimani killing a window of opportunity for Israel to act against Iran.

Syrian air defence batteries responding to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles targeting Damascus, in a picture taken early on January 21st, 2019 (photo credit: STR / AFP)
Syrian air defence batteries responding to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles targeting Damascus, in a picture taken early on January 21st, 2019
(photo credit: STR / AFP)
At least three members of a pro-Iranian militia were killed in alleged IAF strikes on the Tiyas Military Airbase, also known as the T-4 Airbase, in Syria’s Homs province northeast of Damascus on Tuesday night.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the number of casualties in the strikes is expected to increase due to the number of wounded. SOHR reported that the strikes destroyed an ammunition depot as well as military vehicles and a building under construction at the base.
The alleged strikes marked the first time in 2020 that IAF jets bombed military targets belonging to Iran west of Syria’s Deir Ezzor and came several hours after two Syrian Air Force cargo flights from Tehran landed at the base.
With a large presence of Iranian-backed troops in the area, both civilian and cargo airlines are used by the IRGC as a front for military transport flights bringing in soldiers and weaponry to bolster Iran’s military presence in Syria.
The Syrian Ministry of Defense said Tuesday that IAF jets entered Syria from Tanf, in southeastern Homs, where the United States has a base near the Iraqi-Jordanian border around 10.10 p.m.
Syrian state media SANA quoted a military source as saying that “army air defenses confronted an air aggression perpetrated by Israeli warplanes” and “immediately intercepted the hostile missiles, shooting down a number of them.”
According to SANA, four missiles struck their targets.
Simultaneously, explosions were heard in the Deir Ezzor area of eastern Syria near sites belonging to Syrian regime forces.
The strikes also come several hours after the Israeli army’s annual intel assessment was released and noted that the targeted assassination of Iran’s Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani provides a significant opportunity to counter Tehran’s growing aggression in the region.
Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the growing Iranian presence on its borders and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are redlines for the Jewish State.
Israel is accused of being behind dozens of airstrikes targeting T-4, which hosts Syrian regime forces, IRGC troops and Russian air forces.
One strike on June 2 is believed to have destroyed an advanced weapons system which had been transported from Iran a day earlier.
According to the assessment by ImageSat International (ISI), the strike destroyed “an element of a few” elements, and not an infrastructure, near an aircraft apron which had earlier hosted an Iranian aircraft.
“Since the attack targeted specific components, reasonably portable, it is assessed that they were of high importance,” ISI said adding that it could have been “an advanced weapon system element, probably related to UAVs and possibly including a transportable ground control structure.”
A series of airstrikes by unidentified aircraft targeted Iranian-backed militias in Deir Ezzor near the city of Al-Bukamal in the past week.
At least eight people of non-Syrian nationality were killed and a large number were wounded in attacks by unidentified aircraft on pro-Iranian militias along the Syrian-Iraqi border near Al-Bukamal on Thursday, according to SOHR.
SOHR reported last week that Iran-backed militias had reportedly evacuated their headquarters in Al-Bukamal and spread throughout orchards on the banks of the Euphrates River. The IRGC is reportedly seizing civilian houses in the Deir Ezzor area in eastern Syria.