The first Iranian military convoy crossed into Syria coming from Iraq through the Tell al-Badi crossing during this week, the UK-based news outlet the New Arab reported on December 16.
A senior Iraqi official told the New Arab that the Iranian military convoy consisted of 20 covered trucks carrying an unknown load. The official added that the convoy was escorted by fighters and commanders of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iraqi Hezbollah and Hezbollah al-Nujaba.
“A convoy of 20 mud-covered, unmarked vehicles crossed into Syria after being let through checkpoints manned by the PMU … The cars were transporting Iranian and Iraqi forces to fight alongside the Assad regime. I believe this could signal the activation of the long-planned Tehran-Damascus road,” the Iraqi official told the New Arab.
If these claims are true, this can be considered as a huge achievement for Iran and its allies, mainly Lebanese Hezbollah. For the last four years, Iran was shipping weapons and ammunition to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah through an air route. This method allowed Israel to identify, track and target Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah easily, as only few cargo airplanes land in Syrian airports every day.
However, now Israel will be incapable of identifying any Iranian shipment on the new ground route, as it will be used by thousands of Iraq and Syrian companies on daily basis in the upcoming months. Experts believe that this will give Hezbollah and the SAA a huge advantage over Israel and will allow Iran to increase its supplies to its allies.
Many Syria pro-government activists claimed before that the main aim of the US intervention in Syria was to control the Syrian-Iraqi border, and to close it in the face of Iran. These claims were confirmed later when former spokesman of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Tala Silo, revealed that the main aim of the US-led coalition attack in Deir Ezzor governorate was to reach the cities of Mayadin and al-Bukamal in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside before the SAA in order to control the borders.