Unidentified aircraft hit a convoy of Iranian trucks at the al-Qaim crossing on the Syria-Iraq border, where frequent Iranian military activity has been reported, Syrian and other Arab media said Sunday night.
The Saudi-funded al-Arabiya network said, based on unidentified sources, that 25 trucks crossed the border from Iraq into Syria before the attack. According to the Syrian Sham FM radio station and other local media reports, six refrigerated trucks were hit.
Al-Arabiya said the unidentified plane first fired a warning shot to get the truck drivers to leave before bombing them. The network said that the border crossing at Al-Qaim is in practice controlled by Iranian militias.
European-based Syrian expert Omar Abu Layla, whose news organization DeirEzzor24 maintains investigators on the ground in Syria, reported that the trucks belonged to Iranian militias and that the attacks also targeted a gathering of Iranian commanders in the Abu Kamal area.
Unverified images circulating online are said to show a major fire in the area.
It is believed that Iran regularly transports arms to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah from Iraq and through Syria.
There were no immediate reports of injuries in Sunday’s strike.
Iraqi sources: Unidentified drones target multiple trucks in a city #Albukamal Syria near the Iraqi border pic.twitter.com/XCc7z1TsuG
Jadeh Iran (@jadehiran) January 29, 2023
As a rule, the Israeli army does not comment on specific attacks in Syria, but admits it has carried out hundreds of missions over the past decade against Iranian-backed groups trying to gain a foothold in the country.
The IDF says it also attacks arms shipments believed to be destined for those groups, including Lebanese Hezbollah. In addition, airstrikes attributed to Israel have repeatedly targeted Syrian air defense systems.
In a rare commentary in December, then-IDF chief Aviv Kohavi confirmed that an airstrike on a convoy carrying Iranian weapons on the Syria-Iraq border had been carried out by the Israeli air force in early November.
Kohavi said Israeli intelligence discovered which truck within the 25-vehicle convoy was carrying weapons from Iran to Lebanon, and that “sophisticated capabilities” enabled the pilots to launch a precision strike.
That strike reportedly killed 10 people, including an unknown number of Iranians.
Israeli strikes have continued in Syrian airspace, largely controlled by Russia, even as ties with Moscow have frayed over the past year. Israel is at odds with Russia as it has increasingly supported Ukraine as it sought to maintain freedom of movement in Syria’s airspace.