Iranian-backed forces are deploying reinforcements to the Syrian-Iraqi border area, according to reports circulating online. From the Syrian side of the border, Iranian-backed fighters are located in the city of al-Bukamal. From the Iraqi side, they are deployed in the city of al-Qaim.
Experts link the growing activity of the Iranian-backed forces in the area with the recently opened land route that links Teheran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. The Al-Bukamal-Deir Ezzor part of the road is now the most vulnerable segment of the supply line because it borders with the ISIS-held part of the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert.
Last weekend, reports appeared that the first Iranian military convoy crossed into Syria via the recently established land route. If Iran seeks to provide supplies via the road on a constant basis, it needs additional forces to defend them in the area.