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East Syria air strike kills five Iran-backed fighters

Strike reportedly targets three military vehicles belonging to Iran-backed paramilitary fighters near Iraqi border
Syrian air defences fire into sky during reported Israeli missile attack near Damascus earlier this year (AFP/File photo)

An air strike in eastern Syria on Sunday killed five non-Syrian fighters backed by Iran, a Britain-based war monitor said.

The strike targeted three military vehicles belonging to Iran-backed paramilitary fighters near the Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, as cited by AFP.

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The monitor did not specify who was behind the attack near the border town of Albu Kamal. Still, Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman said that "Israel was likely responsible."

Israel has launched hundreds of strikes in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011, targeting government troops, allied Iranian forces and fighters from the Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah.

MEE reported earlier this month that after a lull amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, Israel had resumed its strikes in Syria.

It rarely confirms details of its operations in Syria, but says Iran's presence in support of President Bashar al-Assad is a threat and has vowed to continue its strikes.

Iranian-backed militias and their allies command a significant presence in eastern Syria, south of the Euphrates Valley.

Earlier this month, air strikes on a base controlled by Iran-backed forces near Albu Kamal killed seven fighters, according to the Observatory.

The monitor said that military reinforcements for Iranian militias and their allies had arrived in the area days before.

Israel did not immediately comment on the attack.

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