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Unidentified aircraft hit Iranian-backed militia in Syria: reports


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Attack on Al-Bukamal reported shortly after strike south of Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor

Unidentified aircraft targeted Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria early Tuesday, according to reports.

Eyewitnesses said a plane attacked the militants south of Mayadeen in the Deir Ezzor governate, which houses many Iraqi Shi'ite fighters loyal to Iran, Reuters said. Security sources said this border region with Iraq is a hotbed for Tehran-backed militias.

"Panicky militias were calling on pedestrians and cars to clear the city center and main streets around it," resident Ahmad al Shawi told Reuters.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the strike in the nearby area of al-Mazare', adding that its sources reported explosions near Al-Bukamal by the Syria-Iraq border shortly after.

No casualties have been reported yet, the Observatory said.

Syrian state media did not immediately report on the incidents. 

Israel has been blamed for strikes in the area in the past, although it seldom comments on such reports. It says it will not tolerate Iranian presence in Syria.

An attack allegedly carried out by Israel killed four pro-Iranian fighters near Damascus in August, according to the Observatory.