Air strikes kill five pro-Iran fighters in Syria: monitor

Members of the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, carry away on a stretcher a rescued survivor from the rubble of a collapsed building following a reported air strike in the village of Balyun in Syria's northwestern Idlib province on Dec. 7, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 08 December 2019

Air strikes kill five pro-Iran fighters in Syria: monitor

  • The strikes targeted ‘positions of Iranian forces and allied militias’

BEIRUT: Air strikes by unidentified warplanes have killed five pro-Iran fighters in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor near the Iraqi border, a Britain-based war monitor said on Sunday.
The strikes late Saturday targeted “positions of Iranian forces and allied militias” on the edge of the town of Albukamal, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“Five non-Syrian fighters were killed,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP, without being able to provide their nationalities.
Regime troops, Iranian forces and allied Iran-backed fighters, including from Iraq, are present in the area on the western banks of the Euphrates River, he said.
According to the Observatory, 10 Iraqi fighters were killed in September in air strikes of unknown origin in the same area.
At the start of that month, air raids killed 18 pro-Iran fighters, the monitor reported.
In June 2018, strikes near the Iraqi border killed 55 pro-regime forces, mostly Syrians and Iraqis, the Observatory said.
An American official said at the time that Israel was responsible, but the Jewish state declined to comment.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria on what it says are positions of Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah and Iranian forces, which it has vowed to prevent gaining a foothold in Syrian territory.
But the US-led coalition that has been fighting Daesh has in the past also admitted to carrying out air strikes against pro-regime fighters.
The coalition is backing Kurdish-led fighters on the eastern shores of the Euphrates.


Iran to send flight recorders from downed jet to Ukraine

Updated 22 min 38 sec ago

Iran to send flight recorders from downed jet to Ukraine

  • The head of accident investigations for the civil aviation department said it was not possible to read the black boxes in Iran
  • He said French, American and Canadian experts would help analyze them in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital

TEHRAN: Iran will send the black box flight recorders from the Ukrainian jetliner that it accidentally shot down last week to Ukraine for further analysis, an Iranian official said Saturday.
Hassan Rezaeifer, the head of accident investigations for the civil aviation department, said it was not possible to read the black boxes in Iran, without elaborating. He said French, American and Canadian experts would help analyze them in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
He said if that doesn’t work the black boxes will be sent to France. His remarks were carried by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard accidentally shot the plane down shortly after it took off from Tehran on Jan. 8, killing all 176 people on board. Hours earlier, the Guard had launched ballistic missiles at US troops in Iraq in response to the US airstrike that killed Iran’s top commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Officials say lower-level officers mistook the plane for a US cruise missile.
Iranian officials initially said the crash was caused by a technical problem and invited countries that lost citizens to help investigate. Three days later, Iran admitted responsibility after Western leaders said there was strong evidence the plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile.
The victims included 57 Canadian citizens as well as 11 Ukrainians, 17 people from Sweden, four Afghans and four British citizens. Most of those killed were Iranians. The other five nations have demanded Iran accept full responsibility and pay compensation to the victims’ families.
The plane was a Boeing 737-800 that was designed and built in the US The plane’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint company between French group Safran and US group GE Aviation. Investigators from both countries have been invited to take part in the probe.