August 26, 2018


Pro-Iran militias turn on Assad, try to establish land corridor to Mediterranean (AVI ISSACHAROFF, 8/26/18, Times of Israel)

The fighting is focused around the town of Al-Bukamal, next to the Al-Qa'im border crossing between Syria and Iraq, which is considered a key strategic point in securing trade between Iraq and Syria -- and indirectly, between Iran and the Mediterranean Sea.

Al-Bukamal is located on the eastern border of the Deir Ezzor region, on the banks of the Euphrates River.

The fighting between Shiite militia forces and the Syrian military's forces began more than two weeks ago, and are in an all-out battle over control of the town, its various neighborhoods and the border crossing. Similar exchanges of fire were reported in the nearby town of Al-Mayadin.

In both towns there were reports of fighters killed and wounded, although the exact number isn't clear. Among the dead was a high-ranking officer of Iranian origin and fighters from the Afghan Fatemiyoun Division, which is funded, equipped and trained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Because people see Iran as a boogeyman rather than a rational actor with its own interests and ideals, they confuse themselves into thinking it was there for Assad's sake.

Posted by at August 26, 2018 7:02 AM