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Iran rebuilding military base on Iraq-Syria border

Military parade marking the 39th anniversary of the outset of the Iran-Iraq war, in front of the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini, in Tehran, Iran, on September 22, 2019. [Fatemah Bahrami/Anadolu Agenc
Iranian military forces in Tehran, Iran, on 22 September 2019 [Fatemah Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

Iran has been spotted rebuilding one of its military bases on the Iraqi-Syrian border which was previously destroyed by Israel, according to intelligence reports.

The Imam Ali military base, which was partially destroyed by Israeli air strikes in early September, was spotted by the satellite and earth-imagery organisation ImageSat International (ISI) as being rebuilt by Iran.

In a series of tweets and an analysis released yesterday, ISI stated that “the military base may allow Iran to transfer equipment, weapon[s], and personnel from Iraq through its new controlled border crossing and to fortified storehouses in the new base in Syria.”

The military base, which the report claims till remains inactive, is allegedly the first to be built from scratch by Iran following destruction and damage from Israeli air strikes.

In recent years, and particularly over the past few months, air strikes on Iranian-backed militias and the military sites used by them have increased sharply, and have been primarily conducted by Israel. This has particularly been the case in relation to the Syrian conflict, in which Iran has been accused by Israel and the United States (US) of using its support and alliance with the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad to transport arms and deploy its military advisers and proxies throughout the region, in order to exert its influence.

Iraq: The Middle East’s new battle front between Israel and Iran

The justification for the air strikes has been linked back to alleged plans revealed in 2017, in which Iran was reported to be establishing a land corridor extending across Iraq and Syria and towards Lebanon, in which arms, military hardware, militia fighters and personnel could be easily transported.

The attacks are seen to represent a new front for Israel against Iran and its influence, despite Israel having maintained an official policy of non-intervention in the Syrian civil war and often remained silent in the face of air strike accusations. In January, however, the then-Chief of Staff of the Israeli army Gadi Eisenkot admitted Israel had in fact struck Syria “thousands of times”.

In February, Israel’s military intelligence threatened to expand its operations to Iraq, claiming “Iran may use Iraq as a launching pad to target Israel” after its positions in Syria were destroyed. This, Israel claimed, “would call for a response from Tel Aviv”. US President Donald Trump also expressed similar ideas, telling American news station CBS that he would keep US personnel in Iraq to “keep an eye” on Iran.

The satellite sightings of the Iran’s development and reincarnation of the base come amid a ground-breaking report released yesterday in which leaked secret Iranian intelligence documents revealed the staggering extent to which the country controls and influences Iraq and the wider region of the Levant.

Iran: the eternal geopolitical empire

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IranIraqIsraelMiddle EastNewsSyria
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