Over the past week, Americans have been attacked in Syria and Iraq. In late October, an American garrison stationed near the Syrian al-Omar oil field in the eastern Deir ez-Zor province came under shelling. According to Arab well-placed sources, armed clashes between the US military and an unknown group of attackers lasted all through the night. To assist the defenders, America was forced to use combat aircraft and helicopters.
The second armed incident occurred in Iraq. On November 3, 2019, the US air force's Ayn al-Asad air base in western Iraq was hit by five cruise missiles. The Pentagon did not report personnel casualties or material damage to the military facility, but immediately blamed the Iranian leadership for the attack. In retaliation, US air force warplanes carried out several strikes on one of the units of the Iran’s Republican Guard Corps (IRGC) infantry brigade next to the city of Abu Kamal at the border with Syria.
In this regard, Washington, via diplomatic channels and third countries, has notified Tehran of its intention to immediately use unlimited tough actions against the IRGC in Syria in case of repeated attacks by militias loyal to Tehran against American military facilities or Pentagon-allied armed formations. At the same time, the Americans acknowledged that the airstrikes on the Iranian brigade of the Guard Corps were carried out for the first time but can be resumed in case of new act of sabotage.
During the armed conflict in Syria, Israel was the only one to go in for striking the Iranian storage facilities of weapons and military equipment in Syria. As of the end of the current year, the overall number of raids may range at about 300. As a rule, the Israelis possess repeatedly verified intelligence information about the exact location of Iranian weapon samples, which allows their nearly unpunished destruction. The same is happening with most of the military equipment intended to be sent to Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shiite religious military-political organization.
According to Arab sources, Iran is taking managerial and other measures to consolidate its influence in Syria. Thus, the IRGC command moved the Bavar-373 anti-aircraft missile system to the Hama military airfield in the central part of the Syrian territory and started putting it on full combat alert. According to the Iranian command, the ADMS of national design and production is close to the Russian S-400 complex in its combat and technical characteristics. Announced in August 2019, the new system provides for a simultaneous detection of up to 100 air targets, continuous tracking of 60 ones over a distance of up to 200 kilometers and an altitude of up to 27 kilometers. Equipped with vertical launchers, the complex can carry firepower against six targets at a time. Including aircraft manufactured under stealth technology.
It should be noted that the Hama military airfield is one of the largest in Syria. It is home to a significant number of combat aircraft and helicopters of the Syrian air force. The military facility is actively used by the military troop-carrier airlift of the Russian air force to urgently deliver military cargoes to the Syrian armed forces, as well as for other purposes.
At the same time, the Iranians have intensified the recruitment of Syrian Shiites to serve in their militia formations, paying mercenaries a monthly allowance. So, a rough estimate in the southern part of Syria revealed that the IRGC activists managed to form allied detachments from among the local youth numbering up to 300 people. Each of them is paid a monthly 100-200 US dollars.
In the province of Deir ez-Zor there are over 50 people with a cash allowance of up to $100. Local observers note that the recruitment of those loyal to Iran is carried out among the Shiite tribes in the north-east of Syria, that is the American- and Kurdish- controlled territory.
The military and political leadership of Russia is closely monitoring Iran's activities in Syria and intends to internationally defend the legitimacy of its military presence in the Arab country. Moscow naturally believes that Tehran's military assistance to Damascus is urgently needed to accomplish the defeat of illegal armed groups. As for the acts of sabotage against the Americans, it is only under the threat of massive losses that Washington will withdraw its troops from Syria and Iraq. As it was in Lebanon in 1984.