Syria is beefing up its forces in the eastern province of Deir Al-Zour, where its troops were recently ambushed by the Islamic State (IS) militants, a war monitor reported Sunday.
The Syrian army brought in reinforcements for its 17th and 18th divisions stationed in Al-Mayadeen City in the eastern countryside of Deir Al-Zour after the IS militants attacked its bus there and killed 35 Syrian soldiers early on Friday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
In a statement released on Saturday night, the Syrian Foreign Ministry viewed the attack as a part of the ongoing American campaign against Syria’s sovereignty and independence, accusing the United States of supporting the IS to destabilize Syria.
The UK-based watchdog group also noted that the Deir Al-Zour military reinforcement is a response to the increasing tension between the US forces and Iran-backed militias in the area, as several reports suggested an impending military confrontation between the two sides.
On August 10, a powerful explosion hit an arms depot of the US-backed Kurdish militias in the Shaddadi area in Hasakah province, home to main US military bases in northeastern Syria, according to a report by Russia’s Sputnik TV.
In addition, unidentified warplanes reportedly hovered over Deir Al-Zour’s Al-Mayadeen for a span of two hours on Sunday, according to the observatory.
On the same day, powerful explosions were heard near the capital Damascus, which the observatory said attacked an arms depot belonging to the Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah group.
It believed the explosions were the results of an Israeli intelligence operation, while local media reported that investigations have been initiated to determine the nature of the incident.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has long been monitoring tensions between the US forces and Iran-backed militias, said the US is planning a military operation to close a vast swath of the Syrian-Iraqi border, which is allegedly used by the pro-Iran militias to bring in weapons from Iran for the Syrian army and the Hezbollah group.