Iran is building a major military base near the Syrian-Iraqi border town of Al-Bukamal to hold thousands of troops and precision missiles, Fox News reported on Tuesday.
On September 3, American Fox News and Israeli ImageSat Intl. released a report claiming that Iran had created a ‘secret military base’ in the al-Bukamal area, on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
According to the report, the secret project, called the Imam Ali compound, was approved by top leadership in Tehran and is being completed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Forces.
“The construction of the new military compound began in recent months and is in advanced stages of construction,” read a report by ImageSat International (ISI) which reviewed the images. “It is probable that the base construction will be completed over the next few months and will be operational shortly afterwards.”
At least five different newly constructed buildings surrounded by large dirt mounds could house precision missiles. The other 10 less fortified storehouses in the base will likely store ammunition.
ISI analysts say that construction could be completed over the next few months and the base would be operational shortly after.
According to security experts, this is the first time that the Iranian military is building a base of this scale from scratch in Syria. There is an American army position less than 200 miles from the new Iranian compound.
In recent months, Israel has targeted Iranian military facilities in Syria and destroyed structures that were used to house weapons and troops.
For several years now, Iran has been trying to establish a 1,200-km.-long land bridge from Tehran to the Mediterranean.
In May, satellite images taken by ISI showed that Iran has been building a new border crossing 2.6 km. west of the official Al-Bukamal Al-Qaim border crossing, which would expedite the transfer of weapons from Tehran to groups like Hezbollah in Syria or Lebanon.
While the Bukamal border crossing has been inactive, the area is under the control of pro-Iranian Shi’ite militias which are handled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds force and have been putting in work and resources into building a new active one.
Israeli officials have warned that Iran is attempting to entrench itself in Iraq, a mainly Shia country, as it did in Syria, where it has established and consolidated a parallel security structure and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted at Israel’s role in the recent strikes in Iraq saying that “Iran has no immunity, anywhere.”