Iranian-backed forces in the eastern Syrian governorate of Deir Ezzor have been hiding their heavy weapons in underground tunnels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on February 19.
The UK-based monitoring group said Liwa Fatemiyoun moved large quantities of heavy weapons, including Katyusha [107 mm] rockets, to a network of underground tunnels near the town of al-Mayadin. The tunnels were originally dug by ISIS terrorists.
“The tunnel network where the rockets and heavy weapons have been stored is located in Sheikh Anas area, near the sheep market on the outskirts of al-Mayadin town,” the SOHR said in its report. “This tunnel system is connected to another tunnel system leading to al-Rahbah, al-Mazare’ areas and the center of al-Mayadin town.”
According to the SOHR, Iranian-backed forces are taking precautions because of the repeated Israeli strikes on their positions in Deir Ezzor’s countryside.
On January 13, a series of Israeli airstrikes targeted a network of ammunition depots and military positions of Iranian-backed forces in Deir Ezzor. On February 11, a truck moving supplies for an Iranian-backed unit was targeted near Deir Ezzor’s border with Iraq.
Liwa Fatemiyoun, which is mainly made up of Afghan fighters, is one of many Iranian-backed factions deployed in Deir Ezzor. These forces have been guarding the border with Iraq and operating against ISIS cells for more than three years now.
Israel hopes that its repeated strikes on Syria will force Iranian troops out of the country. This wishful thinking policy has been nothing but a major failure.
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