Report: Iran-backed militia members enter Syria via Iraq

Al-Monitor – The news from a Syrian pro-opposition group contradicts statements by some Israelis that Iran may be pulling back from Syria.

More Iran-backed militia members entered eastern Syria from Iraq, according to a pro-Syrian opposition group. The report comes after statements by Israelis that Iran may be starting to withdraw somewhat from Syrian territory.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported today that buses carrying tens of fighers entered al-Bokamal in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, citing unnamed sources. The move followed an attack Saturday via an unknown aircraft on Iranian forces in the area. Earlier that week, the militias received reinforcements to one of their nearby bases, according to the observatory.

The Deir ez-Zor region’s deserts are also the location of much of the Islamic State’s recent activity in Syria.

This news follows remarks by some Israeli officials that Iran may be pulling back from Syria. Naftali Bennett, defense minister until a few days ago, said this week that Iran was withdrawing its forces from Syria following intensified bombings attributed to Israel, but he did not offer any evidence of this.

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