Iranian Militia Deploy Missiles Near US Bases in Syria


Foreign Affairs

Tel Aviv: Iranian militias in Syria have deployed about 20 al-Mohandis missiles near US bases in this country. Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper quoted sources as saying that the militias had begun deploying about 20 al-Mohandis missiles at a number of points in the eastern rural area of al-RAKA.

The Iranian al-Mohandis is a cruise missile named for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi militia leader killed alongside Soleimani in January 2020. The ballistic missile features a larger solid-propellant motor than compared with earlier versions.

The newspaper explained that the missiles were scattered in military installations on which the Syrian regime’s flag was hoisted, so as not to become a target for attacking aircraft, and confirmed that a missile shipment arrived from Deir a-Zour district in al-Raqqa town. According to the newspaper report, the missile deployment coincided with the deployment of a militia UAV in the city of Hasaka, confirming that Iran does not intend to ease tensions with the US.

American bases in eastern Syria have been attacked several times by UAVs and medium-range missiles operated by Iranian militias.

In a parallel development, a Russian media outlet affiliated with the Russian Ministry of Defence has released a video showing the movement of six Russian warships, off the Syrian coast, that have recently reached the port of Tartus. This happened two days after Moscow confirmed the arrival of six large landing craft, belonging to the North and Baltic Navy, to the logistics centre of the Russian navy in the port of Tartus in Syria, after completing a manoeuvre in Europe.

The newspaper noted that the Russian move comes as part of a demonstration of power in the Mediterranean, in which Russia has a strong presence, following its control of Syrian ports.

In the meantime, Russia is involving some of its closest allies in the Syrian war. According to a report in ABC news Belarus plans to deploy up to 200 troops to Syria to serve alongside Russian forces in the country, according to a Russian government document released March 21.

“A draft agreement between Russia and its ally Belarus endorsed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin says that the Belarusian troops will work to provide “humanitarian assistance” to the population outside combat zones.

The document, which is yet to be signed by the countries’ foreign and defence ministries, states that Belarusian troops will act under operational control of the Russian military in Syria when deployed to the country.”