by WorldTribune Staff, May 15, 2020
Iran is constructing a new tunnel capable of storing advanced weapons systems at the Imam Ali military base in eastern Syria near the Iraq border, satellite images show.
Image Sat International (ISI) images captured on May 12 show bulldozers at the entrance of the structure that is estimated to be around 15 feet wide. Satellite shots from April 1 showed an excavator and bulldozers near where the new construction took place.
Related: Iran-backed forces on the move in Syria after missile strike credited to Israel, May 12, 2020
ISI indicated the tunnel is fit to be used for the storage of vehicles carrying advanced weapons systems, according to a Fox News report.
“This conclusion was drawn from looking at similar tunnels that were dug over the past nine months on the same complex. One such tunnel, two miles away, was bombed in March, forcing the Iranians to abruptly stop construction,” the report said.
Fox News was first to report the existence of this Iranian military base in September 2019, citing multiple Western intelligence sources. The compound, that sits along the Iraq/Syria border, was targeted with air strikes less than a week later.
Several air strikes attributed to Israel have targeted Iranian-linked sites in Syria over the past two years.
Meanwhile, Lebanon has asked a number of Western states that are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to pressure Israel to stop using Lebanese skies to launch attacks on Iranian or Hizbullah positions in Syria, the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Lebanese diplomats told the newspaper that several Western states are unable to prevent Israel from using Lebanese airspace to launch air strikes in Syria given their common interests with Israel to contain Iran-backed terrorist groups, including Hizbullah, in Syria.
Israeli air strikes have targeted the Iran-backed militias as well as weapons convoys intended for Hizbullah, reports say. Israel does not comment on the reported attacks.
Last month, according to Asharq Al-Awsat, Lebanon filed a UN complaint against Israel after its warplanes allegedly used Lebanese airspace to fire missiles at targets in Syria’s Homs.