An airstrike on Thursday night in eastern Syria targeting two vehicles carrying missiles on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq belonging to Iraq’s Iran-backed Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Force) militia killed eight.
“Unidentified aircraft targeted vehicles and arms depots in the Albu Kamal area, causing a large explosion. At least eight Iraqi Hashed fighters were killed,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. None of those killed were Syrian citizens, the observatory added.
DeirEzzor24, a local news site, reported the trucks were carrying a consignment of ballistic missiles destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news outlet claimed that the raid was carried out by Israeli aircraft. Some Arab media reported the strikes were carried out by two Israeli Air Force F-35 stealth fighter jets.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 first saw combat in the IAF in 2018 when Israel flew a test mission of at least three F-35 jets to Iran’s capital Tehran and back from an airbase near Tel Aviv. The IAF also used the jet in actual combat on several fronts. Through Israel’s use of the U.S. fighter jet, it was discovered that the stealth fighter was able to operate even in areas monitored by Russia’s advanced S-300 and S-400 anti-air systems.
A report by Israeli news site YNet stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin informed Assad that the United States intended to close the land-route between Iran and Beirut. Transports of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah go through the city of Al Bukamal, the scene of Thursday night’s attack.