Iranian-backed forces in the eastern Syrian governorate of Deir Ezzor are building a bridge on the Euphrates River, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on December 10.
According to the London-based monitoring group, the bridge will link seven government-held towns, Hatla, Murat, Mazloum, Khasham, Tabiya, Salhiya, and Husayniyah, on the eastern bank of the river with the government-held western bank.
“Construction operations are taking place on the eastern and western banks of the Euphrates from the areas of Husayniyah, east of the Euphrates, and Al-Hawiqa, west of the Euphrates,” the SOHR’s report read.
The few government-held towns on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river are already linked to the western bank via a government-run bridge constructed by the Russian military a few years ago. The new bridge will be, however, run by Iranian-backed forces.
Iranian-backed forces maintain a strong presence in government-held towns on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Many of the locals there are from the Islamic Shiite sect.
The bridge is likely meant to expand the influence of Iranian-backed forces on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, as well as to improve the freedom of movement for the locals living in government-held towns there.