On October 1, several attack helicopter of the US-led coalition conducted a patrol over positions of Iranian-backed forces in the northeastern Syrian government of Deir Ezzor.
The AH-64 Apaches flew right over a crossing on the Euphrates River linking the eastern bank, which is held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, with the town of al-Mayadin on the government-held western bank. US-led coalition helicopters don’t usually conduct patrols in this area.
Al-Mayadin a stronghold of Iranian-backed Syrian and Iraqi forces. The town and its outskirts host a network of military positions.
Iranian-backed forces in al-Mayadin were placed on high-alert and ordered to redeploy just a day earlier, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Late in August, the US-led coalition carried out a series of strikes on positions and equipment of Iranian-backed forces in different parts of Deir Ezzor, including al-Bukamal. The strikes were a response to a drone attack that targeted the coalition’s garrison in the southeastern Syrian area of al-Tanf in the middle of the month. The coalition blamed Iran for the attack.
Iranian-backed forces in al-Mayadin are apparently preparing for a new wave of US-led coalition strikes. In mid-September, a rocket attack targeted the coalition’s Green Village base in al-Omar oil fields in the southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor. The attack didn’t cause any casualties or material losses. Still, the coalition could opt to respond in order to deter Iranian-backed forces.