Air strikes kill 18 Iranians and pro-Iran fighters in Syria

It is unclear who carried out the strikes but Iraq has blamed both the US and Israel for recent attacks in the area

An Iraqi Shiite fighter of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force stands guard at a border position in al-Qaim in Iraq's Anbar province, opposite Albu Kamal in Syria's Deir Ezzor region on November 12, 2018.  Iraqi troops have reinforced their positions along the porous frontier with neighbouring war-torn Syria, fearing a spillover from clashes there between Islamic State group jihadists and US-backed forces. The Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) auxiliary force was created by the Iraqi government in 2014, after a call to jihad by the spiritual leader of the Shiite community, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani to help in the fight against IS in Iraq. / AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

Air strikes killed at least 18 Iranians and pro-Iranian fighters in eastern Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitor of the Syrian war that reports from Britain, said the strikes started on Sunday night and continued on Monday. They caused extensive damage to an arms depot in Al Bukamal in eastern Syria.

Two local activist collectives in eastern Syria – the Euphrates Post and the Sound and Pictures – also reported the strikes.

The strikes came before Israel said that rockets were fired towards its territory by an Iran-backed force in Syria. None of the rockets reached Israeli territory.

Al Bukamal lies in Deir Ezzor province, which covers much of Syria's remote eastern desert, where ISIS's so-called "caliphate" made its last stand this year.

Control of the area is split between US-backed Kurdish fighters and groups aligned with the Damascus regime, which is supported by Iran and Russia.

In June 2018, strikes near the Iraqi border killed 55 pro-regime forces, mostly Syrians and Iraqis, the Observatory said.

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