Satellite imagery taken on August 23 has revealed that Iran is constructing a large military facility in eastern Syria to house thousands of soldiers, store precision-guided missiles, and act as a new border crossing between Iraq and Syria. As Israel becomes increasingly more active against Iran’s influence, the establishment of this pro-Iranian highway in such a strategic corridor may lead to increased violence in eastern Syria.
On September 3, Fox News announced the construction of a new Iraq-Syria border crossing, only 2.6 kilometers west of the official al-Qaim border crossing. This military facility will expedite the transfer of weapons and solidify Iranian control over the region.
The Fox News report indicated that Iran is building a new military base at the same location. According to Western intelligence, the classified project was approved by Iran’s top leadership. Construction of the site is being overseen by Iran’s Quds Force, the elite branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a United States-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Satellite images of the base, known as the Imam Ali compound, showed five recently constructed buildings. According to ImageSat International, an Israeli satellite imagery analysis firm, these buildings appear to be capable of storing precision-guided missiles. Other photos show 10 additional structures, which could be used to store missiles or ammunition. ImageSat International told Fox News that the base could be operational within a few months.
The new border crossing is expected to become a hub for Iranian influence in the region. Completing the construction of this base would be a substantial leap toward strengthening Iran’s land-bridge, connecting the ayatollah’s will in Tehran with its Lebanese proxy on Israel’s doorstep, Hezbollah.