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Reports: Suspected drone strike in Syria kills at least 3


BEIRUT – An explosion in eastern Syria killed at least three people on Wednesday. A war observation group said the blast was likely caused by a drone strike targeting Iranian-backed militiamen.

No group has claimed responsibility for an attack in the area and reports of what happened have been vague. A British-based opposition war watcher, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said four people were killed when the attack hit a building housing Iranian-backed militias in Deir el-Zour province. It said eight people were injured.

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

However, Syrian state media claimed that a mine “abandoned by terrorists” – a term often used by the government for opposition forces fighting on Assad’s side in the war – exploded in the area, killing three people and killing seven. were injured. The state media reports showed photos of a multi-storey building collapsed and reduced to rubble, as well as a wrecked truck.

Syria’s 12-year civil war has killed at least 300,000 people and displaced half of the country’s 23 million population.

The militant Islamic State group once had a stronghold in much of northeastern Syria as part of its so-called caliphate. Today, several groups, including US-backed Kurdish-led forces and Syrian government forces with their Russian and Iranian allies, control the area. However, IS sleeper cells still carry out deadly attacks there.

Previous attacks on Iranian and Iran-affiliated targets in eastern Syria have been blamed on the United States or Israel, although the latter rarely acknowledges its involvement in such attacks.

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