Syrian state media says unidentified jets hit border town with Iraq

AMMAN (Reuters) - Unidentified jets hit targets south east of the Syrian town of Albukamal along a strategic border crossing with Iraq with only material damage, state media said late on Wednesday.

It gave no details. Western intelligence sources say the border town lies on a strategic supply route for Iranian-backed militias who regularly send reinforcements from Iraq into Syria to aid Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Israel has attacked Iranian bases in the area several times since the start of the year, they added.

Two American personnel and one from Britain were killed, and about a dozen people were wounded when 15 small rockets hit Iraq's Taji military camp north of Baghdad on Wednesday, two U.S. officials told Reuters, citing preliminary information.

Albukamal along the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing is crucial for Iran’s bid to cement its growing sway over a corridor of territory from Tehran to Beirut.

Iran-backed Iraqi Shi’ite militias known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) captured Albukamal on the Euphrates River from Islamic State toward the end of 2017.

They now control the mainly Sunni tribal town and its outlying area and have a large presence, intelligence sources say.

The Iranian-backed militias are also in control of large stretches of the frontier on the Iraqi side.



(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker)