Despite airstrikes, Iranian base in Syria 'under intense construction'

"Despite the reported attack, new military infrastructures are being built," ImageSat International (ISI) wrote in a statement.

Aerial view of "Imam Ali" in Syria (photo credit: IMAGESAT INTERNATIONAL (ISI))
Aerial view of "Imam Ali" in Syria
Following reported airstrikes on September 9, the Imam Ali military base is "under intense construction," ImageSat International (ISI) reported on Tuesday. Imam Ali is an Iranian military base near the Syria-Iraq border town of Al-Bukamal.
"Despite the reported attack, new military infrastructures, such as fortification and revetments, access roads and trails within and around the base, are being built. Furthermore, construction is conducted near the destroyed fortified storehouses, within the bombed compounds. All the new infrastructures were constructed after the reported bombing," ISI said.
The Al-Bukamal Al-Qaim border crossing between Syria and Iraq is still closed, but ISI speculates that it could become operational shortly, based on the "large volume" of construction equipment seen at the crossing.
Following loud explosions heard near Al-Bukamal on September 9, several reports of airstrikes surfaced. At the time, tensions between Iranian-Israeli and Iranian-American tensions were high.
ISI speculated that if the site was Iranian that the strike was likely "part of the struggle with Tehran to prevent it establishing the land corridor to its allies in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
Later that day, the IDF reported that Shi'ite “militia operatives operating under the Iranian [IRGC] Quds Force” fired rockets from Syria at Israel.
On September 3, Fox News reported that a "classified Iranian project" was being built in Syria near the Iraq border. Fox News also stated that at least five of the newly constructed buildings, surrounded by large dirt piles, could house precision missiles, and that the other 10 less fortified storehouses would likely be used to store ammunition.
Imam Ali is not only its close to the Syrian-Iraqi border, it is also less than 300 km (186.41 mi) from a US military position.
When Imam Ali's construction began, ISI said the construction would likely take place over the course of a few months and the base would become active shortly after.
Iran has been trying to establish a 1,200 km (745.64 mi) land bridge from Tehran to the Mediterranean.
In May, ISI images revealed that Iran was building a border crossing 2.6 km (1.61 mi) from the Al-Bukam Al-Qaim border crossing with the intention of using it to transfer weapons to Tehran-backed groups, such as Hezbollah in Syria or Lebanon.
Anna Ahronheim and Seth J. Frantzman contributed to this report.