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Recent Iranian shipments to Syria concern US intelligence

US intelligence is monitoring a series of cargo flights from Iran into Syria, that the US suspects may be carrying we...

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 12:23 PM
Updated: Apr 25, 2018 12:23 PM

US intelligence is monitoring a series of cargo flights from Iran into Syria, that the US suspects may be carrying weapons systems into Syria for potential use by Bashar al-Assad's regime or Iranian forces, CNN has learned.

An administration official confirms to CNN that the flights took place and the US 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. Rhetoric between Iran and Israel has also escalated in recent weeks over Tehran's involvement in areas of Syria that can be used to potentially launch missiles or aircraft that could target Israel.

Earlier this week, social media sites that track global air traffic recorded at least two flights by Syrian Air Force IL-76 cargo jets between Iran and Syria. The official said other flights, including at least one from an Iranian cargo jet, have also caught US attention.

Israel reportedly struck several targets inside Syria earlier this month including a T4 airbase in Homs province where Iranians had placed anti-aircraft missiles as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.

Israel has launched attacks on sites in Syria in the past, most notably in February when it struck twelve targets including three aerial defense batteries, as well as four targets which the Israel Defense Forces described as Iranian. That attack came after the shooting down of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet by Syrian forces, and the infiltration of Israeli airspace by what the IDF said was an Iranian drone.

US intelligence assessed the Israeli aircraft may have been shot down by a barrage of anti-aircraft missiles. There are concerns that if the fresh shipments are indeed weapons, they could include more anti-aircraft missiles.

A senior Iranian security official said Iran would punish Israel for the recent airstrikes on the T4 airbase in Homs, according to Iran's semi-official FARS news agency. Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, and former defense minister, said Israel has not yet realized that the era of "hit-and-run" has come to an end and it should pay the price for such "stupidity."

Shamkhani said "When a regime thinks that it is entitled to target counterterrorism troops in a move that comes with a planned violation of another country's airspace, it should have certainly thought of its repercussions and reactions." He added that "There will definitely be a punishment of the aggressor but naturally, the time, place and quality of the response to this vicious act depends on the Islamic Republic's will and choice,"

Russia's Defense Ministry claimed two Israeli F-15 warplanes launched eight guided missiles from Lebanese airspace, targeting the T-4 base in central Syria early this month. The strike resulted in the killing of "some Iranian military advisers,".

Israeli officials have not issued any response to reports of the strikes.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309223

Reported Deaths: 7153
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21005250
Hinds19989411
Harrison17590303
Rankin13388277
Jackson13169243
Madison9965212
Lee9900170
Jones8319161
Forrest7554149
Lauderdale7232237
Lowndes6306144
Lamar614685
Lafayette6081118
Washington5296133
Bolivar4778130
Oktibbeha458097
Panola4461103
Pearl River4447142
Warren4310119
Marshall4302103
Pontotoc417672
Monroe4063132
Union405175
Neshoba4009176
Lincoln3892109
Hancock373785
Leflore3471124
Sunflower332090
Tate325984
Pike3226105
Scott311973
Yazoo305369
Alcorn301566
Itawamba297977
Copiah294365
Coahoma290779
Simpson290486
Tippah285368
Prentiss276659
Marion266479
Leake262473
Wayne261541
Grenada257385
Covington255380
Adams247082
Newton246161
George238947
Winston226181
Tishomingo222867
Jasper220248
Attala213673
Chickasaw205857
Holmes187272
Clay183354
Stone179733
Clarke178177
Tallahatchie176240
Calhoun165632
Yalobusha160236
Smith159734
Walthall131143
Greene129633
Lawrence126823
Noxubee126634
Montgomery125842
Perry125238
Amite121041
Carroll121026
Webster113932
Jefferson Davis105932
Tunica103425
Claiborne101430
Benton97525
Kemper95728
Humphreys94732
Franklin83123
Quitman78916
Choctaw74417
Wilkinson65329
Jefferson64928
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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