The U.S. intelligence community reportedly expressed concerns this week that sponsor of terror Tehran likely used Syrian military cargo flights from Iran this week to arm its allies, which include the Shiite narco-jihadist group Hezbollah and the murderous regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Citing U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, CNN reports:
An administration official confirms to CNN that the flights took place and the U.S. and Israel are both concerned the cargo could potentially include weapons that could eventually be used to threaten Israel.
While weapons shipments into Syria are not uncommon, these flights involving Iran have caught the attention of US intelligence because they occurred in the days after the April 13 US airstrikes on Assad regime targets.
Tensions between regional foes Iran and Israel has intensified in recent weeks over the Islamic Republic’s military footprint in Syria, which shares a border with Israel.
Social media sites that monitor global air traffic reportedly tracked at least two Syrian Air Force IL-76 cargo jets flying between Iran and Syria this week.
“The [unnamed] official said other flights, including at least one from an Iranian cargo jet, have also caught US attention,” CNN notes.
Already this year, Israel attacked the Islamic Republic’s T-4 base near Syria’s Homs at multiple times, including once on April 8 when Tel Aviv launched airstrikes against the facility, killing four members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), currently fighting for Assad.
Iran-allied Syrian forces shooting down an Israeli F-16 fighter jet by Syrian forces and the infiltration of Israeli airspace by an alleged Iranian drone prompted Israel to strike targets linked to the Islamic Republic in February.
The Islamic Republic has threatened to punish Israel over the airstrikes on the Iranian airbase in Syria this month, Iran’s semi-official FARS news agency reported on April 16.
“I think that the usurper and occupying Zionist regime [Israel] will sooner or later receive the necessary responses which will make them regret their deeds. They cannot do something and escape punishment,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi declared.
Israel does not explicitly confirm its military activities in neighboring Syria, citing a policy intended to avoid provoking reprisals.
However, Russia, Iran, and the United States have reportedly attributed the April 8 attack to Israel.
The Russian military reported that two Israeli F-15 warplanes conducted the airstrikes, killing 14 people including four Iranians.
Israeli officials only warned the U.S. of the strikes.