Explosion in Eastern Syria Kills At Least 3 People

An explosion in eastern Syria on Wednesday (8/3) killed at least three people, according to various reports. A war monitoring group said the explosion was likely caused by a drone strike targeting an Iran-backed militia group.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack in the area, and reports of the incident are unclear. The Britain-based war monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four people were killed when a strike hit a building housing Iranian-backed militias in Deir el-Zour province. The monitoring group said eight people were injured in the attack.

Local activist group, Deir Ezzor 24, reported that the building was being used as a paramilitary base for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Syrian state media, however, claimed that a mine “abandoned by terrorists” – a term often used by the government for opposition forces fighting Assad’s side – was detonated in the area, killing three people and wounding seven. State media reports showed photos of a multi-storey building that had collapsed and been reduced to rubble, as well as a wrecked truck.

The Syrian civil war has been going on for 12 years and has killed at least 300,000 people and displaced half of the country’s 23 million people.

The militant group ISIS was once based in large parts of northeastern Syria as part of what it called a caliphate. Currently, several groups, including US-backed Kurdish-led forces as well as Syrian government forces with their allies, Russia and Iran, control the area. However, ISIS sleeper cells are still carrying out deadly attacks in the region. [my/lt]

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